Whoosh! Issue 98 - February 2005

THE FIRST DANCE
By Edward Mazzeri
Content © 2005 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2005 held by Whoosh!
19,727 words


Author’s Note:

Xena is a surprisingly rich source of thesis topics. This article does “the bard thing” for the Xena story. It is a brief ramble among the anthropological brambles behind the Xena tapestry’s back stories. It is necessarily Xena-and-Xena-lite, so apologies in advance.


Introduction (1-20)
The Long and the Short (21-57)
The World of Fairy-Tale (58-64)
Traditional Princessing (65-88)
The World of Legend (89-92)
Traditional Robin Hooding (93-115)
Invisible Girl (116-182)
Two Girls in a Tavern (183-225)
Template Xena (226-236)
Skimpy (237-241)
Hats and Mirrors (242-251)
Swords, Staves and Sais, Oh My! (252-267)
Paradox (268-306)
The Founder Effect (307-333)
Learning the Ropes (334-376)
Falling for Gabrielle (377-390)
Pelorus Jack (391-410)
The First Dance (411-434)
Evoking Xena (435-457)
Notes
References
Biography


 

 

 

most artful[Note 1]

Introduction

[1] Let us put on our Xena story-telling hats and look in the mirror. What do we see?

[2] While watching the recently-released Season Four DVDs of Xena: Warrior Princess, I realised I had forgotten how beautiful the series was. Watching the episodes again recalled that ‘first fine careless rapture’[Note 2] of the initial viewing.

[3] In an age where most action-adventure films and television shows are inspired by comic-books, Xena: Warrior Princess (TV, 1995-2001) is on the shortlist for comic-less shows, that is, not directly derived from comic books. With Xena as a female hero who can do martial arts, she is a sort of a cross between Wonder Woman (TV, 1976-1979) and Kung-Fu (TV, 1972-1975), only without the flag-waving or the pop philosophy. Filmed in scenic New Zealand with a musical score as intricate as the performances and plots, can anything more insightful be said about Xena?

[4] Reviewing textbooks or nature shows is difficult.[Note 3] You have to be an expert on the subject matter before you can even begin. Reviewing novels or television shows is even more difficult.[Note 4] As well as the subject matter of the story, you also have to know the work’s contemporary context and what happened before.[Note 5]

[5] A synchronic and diachronic understanding is needed because no creative work exists in a vacuum. All works come from somewhere and fit into something,. They build on their predecessors and add to the totality of their day. Even Athena, who joined the Olympians as the goddess of wisdom, was fully formed when she was born from the brow of Zeus.

[6] So how do you comment on a show that can be summarised like this:

Lucy Lawless starred as Xena, who decided to relinquish her warlike past and help the oppressed and needy. Renee O’Connor costarred as Gabrielle, a village lass who decided to accompany Xena.[Note 6]

[7] Did the story spring fully formed from the brow of the writers? How did it fit into what was happening at the time? What happened before? What came after?

[8] Helping the needy is an understandable vocational activity for a hero like Xena. All heroes do that. But why would Gabrielle want to follow Xena?

[9] In the interviews on the season four DVDs there were repeated refrains about the production quality of the series, as if it should be a surprise that film-quality effort would and could be used for just a TV show. But a show is much more than its production standards, or the economic and real-world constraints that limit its lifespan, or the sociological barriers and conduits that shape its story-telling from the outside and the inside. The beauty in Xena is more than just the quality of the picture produced by the camera lenses (though that helps).

[10] Season Four of Xena was about Gabrielle’s quest to find a suitable spiritual path in her life. A major story arc involved Xena and Gabrielle going to India and Gabrielle trying out various religious practices, especially non-violent ways of being and existing in the world.

[11] As an aside, there is one interesting spirituality that Gabrielle could have tried (but did not). It would have suited her admirably because it would have given her philosophical stance some shape and clothing. Gabrielle could have shed all the airs and pretensions of the Known World and become a gymnosophist. It would have resonated with the people in Ancient Greece, Ancient India and other places.

[12] Gabrielle is a sidekick and gymnosophy is not mentioned in the Sidekick Statutes. In the recently released DVD of the original Star Wars trilogy, there was a commentary about how the studio wanted to put pants on the Wookie Chewbacca. This illustrates the existence of the unspoken rule that ‘no animal is ever described as nude’.[Note 7] As an honorary human, Chewbacca was supposed to wear human clothes. No similar effort was made to force C3PO into pants, so that means the studio must have classified him in the “pet-sidekick” category, like collie Lassie, “bush-kangaroo” Skippy and Tarzan’s chimp Cheeta.

[13] Xena and Gabrielle wear clothes in public, except when they are fishing or hot-tubbing or being written about in enchanted scrolls or falling into song-filled lands like Illusia or falling out of illusory paradise caves in the Himalayas. Following another unspoken rule that nudity is for art,[Note 8] Xena as art and Xena as historical reportage begin to swirl together in a yin-yang presentation. We see their private moments in public episodes. Intersecting with this and resonating with another and older story, is a second swirl of presentation where there is no room at the inn, village or castle for Xena and Gabrielle – the whole world is their village and their home, for that is where we see their private moments take place.

[14] Xena as a story is full of resonances, of echoes and re-workings of other stories.

[15] In an interview about an episode, BETWEEN THE LINES (083/415), where there are glimpses into the future lives of Xena and Gabrielle, writer Steven Sears commented on the DVDs about how a line from a song in The Muppet Movie (Frawley, 1979) could easily describe Xena and Gabrielle, either in that episode in particular or in Season Four in general – they are “old friends who have just met”.

[16] The mention of a song reminded me of a line from another song

Let me sail, let me sail, let me crash upon your shore.[Note 9]

This describes Xena the series perfectly: crashing like an ocean wave over and through audiences everywhere, surprising them, swirling them around and turning them upside down, moving them, invigorating them.

[17] The line could also be describing the effect Xena and Gabrielle had on each other.

[18] Here is what Renee O’Connor said when she was interviewed for the comedy fairytale episode IF THE SHOE FITS . . . (080/412), which could be subtitled “Cinderella, Xena-style”.[Note 10]:


Renee (trying really hard to recall what happened 6 years earlier): I remember there were lots of changes in that episode. (a beat) I mean, lots of costume changes.
Lucy: That’s insightful! (to off-camera) Are you going to keep that in?

[19] So in the same spirit, this essay presents some equally insightful examples of how Xena unexpectedly rolled up along the shore of TV land, surpassed the previous highwater marks and extended the envelope of story-telling a little bit.

[20] The first question that has to be asked is “Why is Xena like an elephant?”

 

Pure fun with no sting in it, leaving no bad taste in the mouth. What a bright spirit conceived that fun, what a master of humorous melody set it to music, what jolly, talented folk interpreted it and first made it visible and audible to the enraptured London of their day![Note 11]

The Long and the Short

[21] On the Season Four DVDs, Renee O’Connor mentioned how rare an opportunity it is to get to play ‘such strong women”. She’s right. Going back through the annals of TV, there is probably only one other show that even came close. The cop show Cagney and Lacey (TV, 1982-1988) had two strong female leads. It was ‘the first adventure/crime series on television to feature two women as central characters’.[Note 12]

Cagney was single and spontaneous and Lacey, who was married and a mother, was solid, down to earth, and practical. This combination worked,...[Note 13]
They would have been even stronger except that the original format was toned down and watered down:
TV Guide quoted an unnamed CBS executive as saying that Foster’s character was “too tough, too hard and not feminine.” Another network executive said that audience testing revealed that the “world perceived them as too masculine.”[Note 14]
Society had to change before stories about strong women could be told:[Note 15] ‘As society evolves, so does its fantasy life as refracted through popular culture.’[Note 16] Trivia note: Meg Foster, who played Cagney in the first few episodes, went on to play Hera on Hercules and Xena.

[22] The current on-air contender with two female leads looks like the British detective series Rosemary and Thyme (TV, 2003) about two lady gardeners who solve crimes. Felicity Kendall plays Rosemary Boxer and Pam Ferris is Laura Thyme. Together they uncover all sorts of clues.

[23] Felicity Kendall is a superb actress. Besides appearing in several well-received television light-comedy series and being the Narrator on the recent How Proust Can Change Your Life (TV, 2000), she also did a magnificent turn as a brilliant and passionate Viola in a television adaptation of Twelfth Night (TV, 1980) where she grew her hair slightly longer in order to play the girl-disguised-as-a-boy character who becomes the go-between in a courtship.

[24] The versatile Imogen Stubbs also played Viola in a recent film version of Twelfth Night (Nunn, 1996) but in her case she had to cut her long hair short. Her performance in the film was, it must be said, somewhat lacklustre, as if she had something else on her mind and was just going through the motions. Her trademark long chestnut tresses are best seen when she played Ursula Brangwen with burning passion in a television adaptation of The Rainbow (TV, 1988), not to be confused with the film that came out the following year (Russell, 1989) with blondes Sammi Davis and Amanda Donohoe in the lead roles.

[25] When Gabrielle’s long tresses were shorn off during the course of Season Four, there was a mixed reaction. “Mature,” thought the producer; “Mature,” agreed the director; “Too butch,” said the lesbians to Lucy Lawless in a recent feedback on a radio show; “I thought it was soft!” said a surprised Renee O’Connor during the DVD commentary to the Season Four ender; and “Too Meg Ryan,” wrote an harumphing Australian TV critic.

[26] Where do people get their ideas on what long and short hair means?

[27] The Empress Elizabeth, nicknamed Sissi by an adoring public, had long hair. Sometimes she wore stars in it, like Luthien.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful
Sissi
”How long have you got? What I’ve been getting up to would fill several books.”[Note 17]

Sissi’s life had uncanny parallels with Diana’s. There were fashion-setting dresses, troubles at court, and bouts of quasi-anorexia. There was compassion for the unfortunate, the will to do something about it, and a tragic death.

[28] What causes the same thing to be seen so differently by different people? Is it the old fable about the elephant and the blind philosophers? ‘It’s like a wall!’ said one, touching the side. ‘It’s like a tree trunk!’ said another, touching a knee. ‘It’s a rope!’ said the third, holding the tail. ‘It’s like a snake!’ said the fourth, feeling the trunk. Then they spent the rest of time arguing about who was right.

[29] To an anthropologist, the unspoken assumptions that guide our choices about what people will like about us are an interesting area of study in group dynamics.

[30] The light of dawn resets our biological circadian clock. The faces we see around us every day resets what is ‘normal’ for our built-in visual face-recognition routines.[Note 18] Extending this idea, I will posit a hypotheses: that the stories we watch and hear reset and re-synchronise our understanding of who we are as a group.

[31] On the Season Four DVDs, Ted (‘Whoo hoo!’) Raimi and Bruce (‘It rains sideways in New Zealand’[Note 19] ) Campbell and a camera are suffering from “Cabin Fever” in a bonus feature that is so full of bleeps and blurs that it could have been a tape of R2D2 doing karaoke. They describe their time doing Xena, I mean on Xena, I mean on the set of Xena. You get the drift.

[32] It is obvious they share the same technical language, exactly like Bruce describes in his autobiography. At one point Bruce is explaining how New Zealand is too small to have its own climate and Ted butts in with a Kiwi accent. To my ears he sounds just like Bart Simpson trying to do an Australian accent, namely (to borrow a phrase), ‘he spoke like Dick Van Dyke doing cockerney’.[Note 20]

[33] Creating an artistic work involves a cart-load of preconceptions about the object of the gaze[Note 21] and the techniques to delineate it.[Note 22] In the Western tradition, blanks and silences are voids just aching to be filled. In other traditions, they are not and have their own existence. So to a Westerner trying to do a Chinese painting,[Note 23] the painting, poetry and calligraphy can be mastered but placing the seal is a bit tricky:

The position of the seal is important. To the Western eye it is tempting to fill a blank space, but the seal should always be a part of the painting and not destroy or cut across any space.[Note 24]

[34] In a moving medium, editing and transitions do not cut across a timeline or partway through a beat. In a visual medium, make-up is significant and carries meaning[Note 25] and so does different types of light.[Note 26] Composition also plays a part:

There’s also a good example of how accomplished the cinematography in the series can be: look out for a beautiful shot of Xena on a porch, composed as artfully as a Chinese painting.[Note 27]

[35] In a medium whose currency is words, like the theatrical stage or the novel, ‘a simple anagram’[Note 28] or wordplays, are more significant in some traditions[Note 29] and less so in others. Sometimes a character named with an anagram develops in unexpected ways and the story escapes from the writer’s confines.[Note 30]

[36] New technologies bring new vocabularies ‘Nearly all new inventions and ideas are accompanied by a whole new way of speaking.’.[Note 31] New schools of thought bring new concepts, for example “literal metaphors” [Note 32] which are used a lot in the Buffyverse and Sabrinaverse.

[37] The audience is exposed to all these things and absorbs them instinctively so that a statement of actual reality like ‘convert the whole caboodle to a stonking great wodge of three-dimensional geometrical information’[Note 33] can be separated and distinguished from a statement of hypothetical reality like

an engineer working on the logitating wurzle shank of a supersonic aircraft might not be able to remember whether to use a number two or a number three frunge-splocket.[Note 34]
Previous audiences would have understood neither statement, let alone be aware of the difference between the two.

[38] So the history of previous audiences becomes part of the current audience. For example, in mediaeval song and story the ever-changing Moon with its shifting and inconstant phases was taken as an allegory of indecisiveness, of infidelity, of archetypal femaleness, of being a woman. The allegory is preserved in proverbs, the titles of operas, plot devices (“a woman’s prerogative”) and so on and becomes very difficult to dislodge if you want to tell a different story. It is almost like trying to unlearn a language.

[39] Inherited attitudes at their best are useful because they save time and encapsulate wisdom. You do not have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, in every generation. Inherited attitudes can backfire for exactly the same reason. For example, owls used to be automatically killed on sight. That is what you “did”.

Formerly, predators were widely if not universally condemned, and every man’s hand was against them.[Note 35]
Then ecosystems were discovered and the crucial role of predators within them began to be understood. Note that it is still difficult to spare the lives of wolves, bears, eagles, lions, tigers, alligators, sharks, anacondas and other top-of-the-food-chain organisms even though we know their survival is critical for the ecosystem.

[40] Inherited wisdom (“The lion is king”, “Owls are wise”) arrives without any reasons explaining it. The explanatory vacuum is filled sooner or later with easily plausible conjecture

because their large eyes give them the appearance of intellectual depth, owls have been portrayed in folklore through the ages as wise creatures.[Note 36]

[41] The audience absorbs all these things subconsciously and brings them along when they come to see your play, your script, your story, your episode.

[42] The audience also brings along inherited social boundaries.

[43] Some of these boundaries are barriers. For example, the idea of “foreign” is such a strong and compulsory part of US life that it unknowingly raises a barrier to an enjoyable reading of The Silmarillion, which is seen as ‘full of foreign-sounding terms’.[Note 37] Admittedly there are ‘tons of Elvish names that are almost impossible to keep straight’[Note 38] but it was a surprise to hear an English story described as “foreign” by an English-speaker.

[44] Other boundaries have faded through time. For example, in the Star Trek (TV, 1966-1969) episode THE NAKED TIME (004/104), Kirk, strenuously combatting a debilitating condition that made him weak and undisciplined, asked for the corridors and turbo-lifts to be cleared so that he would not be seen by the crew as he struggled back to the flight deck. In the 1960s, being seen as human was equivalent to being unfit to command, and this order showed Kirk had great strength of character (his determination) and an enormous generosity of heart (he did not want to demoralize and embarrass the crew by appearing weak before them). It was seen as his duty to behave as he did in keeping up appearances. It was a very powerful dramatic moment. Nowadays, there would be a different take on the matter.

[45] Other social boundaries become stronger through time, in a self-fulfilling kind of way.

[46] In the UK, the BBC considers science fiction to be children’s fare [Note 39] so when a Buffy comes along, the editorial scissors come out and snip it into Swiss cheese.

[47] In Japan, manga, usually translated as “comics”, are for all audiences. Manga creativity flows into other areas:

We have a base of innovative Manga culture. Manga covers everything from political issues to sports and fantasy, for both children and adults.[Note 40]
In the US, cartoons are only for children (the effect of a ‘saccharine’[Note 41] Disney) and violence is only for adults (the official ban on erotic stories sublimates[Note 42] that desire onto something that is not publicly banned, like the killing of outsiders, to produce a powerfully addictive “eroticized violence”, hence not for children).

[48] So when Japanese anime comes along, like Battle of the Planets (TV, 1978-1985), which mixes cartoon with violence, the automatic reaction is that the scissors have to come out again:

The American cartoon – a much watered-down brew – was compiled from 85 [out of 205] Gatchaman episodes. The twee 7-Zark-7 was added by American animators Gallerie International, to bridge the gaps where bloodshed and death had been edited out.[Note 43]

[49] In hindsight, a more useful translation of manga might have been “story-board” rather than “comic-book” because story-boards can be about any story for any audience, not just pre-schooler fare. Because of ‘the broadness of subject matter’[Note 44] of the word manga, a proper translation would have saved everyone a lot of rework: ‘I would have said a comic was a comic no matter what you named it’[Note 45]

[50] Reporters and historians find that being able to report on a real-life story is difficult enough [Note 46] For the chroniclers of story-telling, being able to see through to the original version of a made-up story is probably impossible.

[51] And so we come back to Xena and the elephant again.

[52] To television historians, Xena is the Internet

it is not surprising that some of the most popular television programmes worldwide since the dawn of the Internet have been those with the strongest international Internet fan bases – shows like The X-Files, Xena and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.[Note 47]

[53] To other television historians, the lack of status, quality and richness in television is a direct consequence of it being ‘a poor relation to radio or the theatre’.[Note 48]

[54] To television regulators, elected and unelected, television is considered a powerful weapon. They ‘believe in social engineering through the manipulation of television’[Note 49] but it is not the technology that makes it so powerful. It is the fact that young minds are exposed to it in the first place, just as they are exposed to everything else, things like how adults interact or what happens at school or how people play games or how pets respond or how lifestyles provide opportunities. A fourth-grade spelling bee incident can be remembered decades later and have reverberations.[Note 50]

[55] Television, and picture books before television,[Note 51] tend to become didactic, and boringly so, whenever people think that eating your breakfast with a silver spoon is a sign of nobility. The presentation is ineffectual in

contemporary “preach and teach” picture books, where flimsy stories flap forlornly on moral flagpoles[Note 52]
and visibly mercenary as it starts ‘looking like thinly disguised dollar signs’[Note 53]

[56] There are other things that really shape us to be what we are. Those things have existed long before television was ever thought of, long before books even, when ‘all sorts of fancies bright and dark tenanted my mind; the memory of nursery stories were there’.[Note 54]

[57] To find out what these things are, let us be story-philosophers for a while and see if we can touch the Xena story.

The World of Fairy-Tale

[58] To some extent, Xena is a story that wrote itself.

[59] Just as the initial steps in a dance or a game of chess limits the choices of what comes afterwards, Xena’s initial steps through the story-telling wilderness shaped the subsequent path of the story and limited the choices at succeeding steps.

[60] In terms of story structure, Xena falls completely and squarely within the fairy-tale world.

[61] Firstly, fairytale events and themes are enacted and brought to life. There are encounters with giants. There are themes of being lost-in-the-woods, like the main motif of the fairytale about the “Babes in the Wood” (although the meaning of the word “babes” has been updated). In some scenes you almost expect Xena and Gabrielle to be leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind them.

So THIS is the Skull and Bones Society?
XWP: Giant Killer
The two girls walked back through the woods, both quiet and deep in thought[Note 55]

[62] Next, fairytale places and locales are visited. There are caverns and dungeons, spawning monsters and villains. There are castles of kings both dead and alive, spawning intrigues and treacheries. The whole of the ancient world is a Wonderland which Xena and Gabrielle explore.

This is a real castle. Honest.
XWP
from where Hercules sent his regards[Note 56]

[63] And lastly, like in Narnia and Middle Earth, there are real fairytale dangers, where a step in the wrong direction could be fatal to the characters. The real world of Xena and Gabrielle is one where you could encounter centaurs or dryads or Athena’s protective guard and not live to tell the tale.

That's why they call them Amazons!
XWP: Looking Death in the Eye
Their first attempt to enter Verdanholm had already failed.[Note 57]

[64] But the main element of any fairy-tale, of course, is the princess.

Traditional Princessing

[65] Xena falls fully within the tradition of princesses.

Once upon a time, fairytales were more fluid, evolving to suit their audience through oral storytelling. Written down, stasis set in.[Note 58]

[66] However, all traditions continue to grow and develop over time, even story-telling ones. Xena, in this sense, did not innovate as a show, it merely followed in the footsteps of a tradition that was already continually innovating. The science-fiction-adventure version of the princess tradition best illustrates this.

[67] In the beginning of the current age of story-telling, ogres pursued princesses in faraway lands. In science fiction, ogres pursued princesses on faraway planets, like Mars. Here is P J Monahan’s 1916 vision of Thuvia, Maid of Mars:[Note 59]

Thuvia, Maid of Mars, practising for the Prom.
ERB
Kendra, taken by surprise, actually glanced behind her, ...[Note 60]

This is the type of princess in early anime, like the one in the space ninja team story that became Battle of the Planets:
One [member of the team] was a girl. Her name was Princess. Just to make sure we all knew she was a valued and capable member of the top intergalactic peace-keeping force, the animators had her wear a very short pink dress and perform continual somersaults.[Note 61]

[68] Meanwhile, in early film, the ogres (always male) were giant gorillas like in King Kong (Cooper and Shoedsack, 1933) or alien robots like in the poster for Forbidden Planet (Wilcox, 1956) portraying a scene not in the actual film. Drew Struzman, who has painted many modern movie-posters and bookcovers, considers the posters and covers to be invitations to see the film or read the book. They are an emotional summary of the story and not necessarily a still.

[69] The poster for Forbidden Planet is different to what happens in the film. In the actual film, Robby was the loyal family robot so portraying him as a capturing pursuer in the poster did not make sense, until you realised that in the film all overt hints of incest had been censored out. Covertly, on the other hand, the censorship failed in practice because, psychologically, the ogre is the evil-twin version of the hero. The ogre is the hero’s dark side that needs to be overcome. There needs to be something for the hero to prevail against. The film’s main plot even spelled this out in so many words when talking about what happened to the Krell and their civilisation.

[70] Robby the Robot as a creation, or recreation, by Dr Morbius under normal human (that is, undisciplined) psychological circumstances functions as a story stand-in for Morbius, especially for when the monster comes attacking. Having Morbius on the poster instead of Robby would have been too powerful and confronting.

[71] As an aside, note that for the Xena Season 3 opener, THE FURIES (047/301), Rob Tapert commented on the DVDs that the studio became hypersensitive and wanted to cut the Ares-is-Xena’s-father plot thread (as opposed to the plot red-herring that it actually was within the episode).

[72] So in the next stage of modern story-telling, the princesses began to (literally) stand up for themselves. To keep from bursting the bubble of the male ego, they still stayed behind the scenes as much as possible and avoided using male weapons. This was the 1940s[Note 62] and the time of Wonder Woman (various media, 1941-current) and films like Queen of the Amazons (Finney, 1946) where a beautiful woman (Jean Preston played by Patricia Morison) mounts a jungle expedition to solve the mystery of what happened to her missing fiance. As it turns out, she discovers that he was captured by the Amazons and later his heart was “captured” by their Queen, while she herself had her own heart, in turn, likewise captured by the hunky expedition guide. So the original wedding is called off. There is also a cross-plot of the Amazons battling ivory-poachers for the balance and harmony of the jungle and there are lots of stock anthropological footage of various tribal groups performing dances and ceremonies and so on. The story turns out all right in the end – there is a double wedding and everyone is happy. The film is actually one of the first-ever clip shows.

[73] It is interesting to note that, besides the main action being people walking up and down a bit of dry dirt that looks like someone’s future Beverly Hills driveway, the real documentary scenes of bare-breasted dancing women would probably not be allowed on screen today.

[74] There used to be a dinner-party game called Degrees of Separation where you would take any two actors and see how far apart they were from each other in terms of mutual acquaintances on film sets. The answers were usually surprisingly small numbers.

[75] A similar game can be played with Xena and story motifs. If we begin with a film that has parallels in a Xena episode, and an actor from that film appeared in another film, did Xena also have a parallel in that second film, and so on? It seems the answer might be: Yes.

[76] Playing Xena-degrees-of-separation is too easy with the Internet and it can raise false hopes about what stories are out there.

[77] As an example, let us start with Queen of the Amazons. We already know that Xena did lots of Amazon episodes.

[78] Patricia Morison played animal trainer Tanya Rawlins in Tarzan and the Huntress (Neumann, 1947) and then Maid Marian in The Prince of Thieves (Bretherton, 1948) where Adele Jergens played a mythical Lady Christabel. Xena did a hunter-of-humans episode where Xena played a Tarzan character, and as we shall see below, Xena has played the Robin Hood motif several times and at a deeper level than just Autolycus King of Thieves wearing the Lincoln green and robbing from the rich.

[79] Adele Jergens in turn was Boots Marsden in Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (Lamont, 1951) and later she played Ruby in Day the World Ended (Corman, 1956) in which Lori Nelson played Louise Maddison. Xena had some invisibility hijinks with a certain statue and more hijinks in short bursts in various episodes with a certain Helmet of Invisibility, and there has been more than one occasion when the Xena-world ended one way or another.

[80] Lori Nelson played Stephanie in Mom, Can I Keep Her? (Olen Ray, 1998), a film that turns out to be not about Xena asking her mother Cyrene what do with a certain sidekick but is really about a youngster and a canine companion.

[81] Story-hunting, like catching sight of Artemis unawares in the woods, is a dangerous activity and should only be undertaken by skilled professionals.

[82] Back on the main historical trail, it was not long before Wonder Woman became ‘a national treasure’.[Note 63] Princesses had graduated from being the pursued to being the pursuers, like on this cover[Note 64]

Wonder Woman persuades Ixion to play nice.
WW
Erica had a feeling of living on the edge of a different world.[Note 65]

[83] Coincidentally, Wonder Woman’s creator [Note 66] was the inventor of the lie-detector (which explains her truth-compelling lasso) and also a psychologist (which explains why she was tied up so many times in her early adventures). In any event, Wonder Woman was composed of ‘equal parts of mythology, metaphysics and moonshine’[Note 67] (a bit like Xena) but her highest appointed position was (unlike Xena) still only just secretary of the Justice League.[Note 68] Nevertheless, she ‘paved the way for Xena, Buffy and co’.[Note 69] To comic-book historians, Xena is a sort of updated Wonder Woman.[Note 70]

[84] In film, always a generation behind print after the censorship boards were established, this is the stage of Princess Leia as embodied in Star Wars (Lucas, 1977-forever). Leia could shoot like a boy, but she still needed help to swing across a chasm. And of course she never ever even touched an unsheathed light sabre. Note also that the initial ogre-figure of Darth Vader later turned out to be a dearth of a father, Anakin Skywalker.

[85] In the last stage of modern story-telling, the princesses were no longer the capture trophies of dragons but became dragon-riders and dragon-tamers in their own right. As a minor example, here is Carol McLean-Carr’s cover illustration for a story of drakophiles: [Note 71]

I know I left my watch in here somewhere

Ruth had read about such things[Note 72]

[86] In TV, which by this stage had taken over from film, the female companions became active and feisty, and they did not mind doing a Cat Ballou and getting their hands dirty and doing boy things, however undainty it made them. An example is Ace, the Doctor’s final companion in Doctor Who (TV, 1963-1989).[Note 73]

Nothing Freudian in this!
Ace
Ace goes back to school

[87] And finally, in the post-modern era, the tradition has turned full circle and returned to its beginning but this time everything is in its place. There are sexy, tongue-in-cheek, unafraid, empowered princesses. There are still things to put right (otherwise there would be no story), but the ogre is really just an inexperienced adolescent who still kisses like a wet fish and is not the fearful beast he once was.[Note 74]

Hay-elp! I say, Hay-elp!
Rolling Stone
If she’s a vampire, I’m the Creature from the Black Lagoon![Note 75]

[88] In TV-land, this is the time of shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch (TV, 1996-2003), Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (TV, 1997-2003) and Xena: Warrior Princess (TV, 1995-2001), which everyone for some unfathomable reason keeps on wanting to refer to as Xena, the Warrior Princess.

The World of Legend

[89] In terms of story, Xena falls completely and squarely within the world of the legendary folklore hero.

[90] To film historians, Xena is a direct thematic descendant of Nyoka, the Jungle Girl (Witney and English, film series, 1941), herself the female equivalent of Tarzan and written by the same author. Nyoka could swing on vines, ride elephants, escape from scrapes, survive being washed along tunnels in cliffsides high above deep pools. The usual things. In the films, Nyoka had a sort-of sidekick young enough to be babysat and who provided occasional comic-relief. There was a dashing gentleman adventurer to provide the love interest.

[91] Years later, perhaps not having seen the obscure Jungle Girl, Xena’s creators specifically designed and desired a hero to whom all the usual hero things would happen, with the one exception that the hero would be a woman and it would make no difference. Except it did make a difference because five minutes into the first episode, no-one had bargained on Gabrielle doing double-duty as the sidekick and as the companion.

[92] The legend of Robin Hood best illustrates what happened.

 

Traditional Robin Hooding

[93] Robin Hood is part of our heritage. Just mention the name Robin Hood and you know the story. Hero and champion. Robin Hood, ‘champion of the common fold’.[Note 76] ‘Robin Hood of Hollywood is an action hero.’[Note 77]

[94] Robin Hood as a story is static and stable. For hundreds of years, through ballads and song, short stories and long, the many variations of the story have retained a structural coherence.[Note 78] However, the story-telling has evolved and continually developed through time.

[95] Robin Hood was ‘this ordinary man who fought against injustice’.[Note 79]

[96] Xena like Robin Hood stands up to the oppressor, ‘Robin Hood always represents resistance to authority’,[Note 80] and both Xena and Robin participate in ‘morale-boosting escapades’.[Note 81]

[97] Playing Robin Hood is exciting. Promoting a film about him is even more so. When Douglas Fairbanks Jr (described as ‘a peach’[Note 82] ) was on the roof of the Ritz in New York promoting the 1922 version, he got over-excited and let loose a real arrow.

It flew through the air, hitting a tailor on the bottom. The unfortunate man thought that he was being attacked by Native Americans.[Note 83]
A publicity-loud visit to the hospital and a quiet payment on the side helped to smooth the tailor’s ruffled feathers.

[98] In film versions starting with Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood (Curtiz and Keighley, 1938)

[Through all the film versions, ] He remains noble but welcoming to all comers, physically powerful but never oppressive, serious but always to some degree smiling, sexually attractive but never fully partnered with either gender, and, most important, in all but one case still alive.[Note 84]
A successful film version means that successive films are thereby much more restricted in their creative space[Note 85]

[99] Since everyone already knows the story, creativity can be deployed in presentation of the story. In TV versions like Robin of Sherwood (TV, 1984-1986) innovative camera techniques like ‘arrow-nose views’[Note 86] and hand-held cameras were implemented

the action was fast; some of the first filming with handheld cameras followed the outlaws through beautiful local settings. Young, roguishly handsome, committed to resisting the Normans, Robin himself was a figure of nature.[Note 87]

[100] The ears as well as the eyes could join the feast. The music was eternal New Age folkloric (Clannad) and other contemporary (though consistent) story-elements were blended in, like Herne the Hunter, to cater for an ‘interest in the supernatural’.[Note 88]

[101] In the written versions over the centuries, Maid Marian was mostly a passive counterpoint to Robin’s active adventuring

[In fiction] Marian’s role remained that of a vulnerable ornament likely to be purloined by Robin’s enemies and to require rescuing.[Note 89]
The constructedness of the story begins to become apparent as the automatic assumptions of a previous age become more and more visible. As a consequence, Robin Hood’s historical veracity begins to be undermined:
The most startling example, with its own appropriate element of playfulness, is found in that bible of English biographic pomposity, The Dictionary of National Biography. Among all the forgotten politicians and forgettable aristocrats lurks the outlaw hero; an entry written by Sir Sidney Lee, the coeditor of the massive project, insists that the name Robin Hood refers to a “mythical forest elf” whose name could be Hodekin and who was probably related to the Norse god Wotan.[Note 90]

An interesting vision test for a change
DNB
the name originally belonged to a mythical forest-elf[Note 91]

As opposed to a real forest elf like Legolas.

[102] Xena exhibits a lot of the characteristics of Robin Hood. In meeting Xena, there is a sense that we have met her somewhere before, a long time ago in a place far, far away. As Robin Hood is moving towards the fictional, Xena is moving towards the factual:

The crossover between Xena and Lawless isn’t helped by a recent UK study of more than 2000 people in which at least one per cent believed Xena was a real historical figure.[Note 92]

[103] The first season episode ALTARED STATES (019/119) was where Xena hit her stride, literally for Xena and metaphorically for the show. There was much running around.

Xena runs so fast that sometimes her boots disappear
XWP:AS
poised and natural even while running around in an outlandish outfit[Note 93]

The episode was a slap in the face with the proverbial wet fish, literally for the bullies of the piece and metaphorically for the stunned audience..

I really want to avoid the 'something's fishy'-type  puns here, but I don't seem to be able to help myself
XWP:AS
like the incoming tide[Note 94]

Roseanne (TV, 1988-1997) even did a homage to the fish fight scene.

[104] ALTARED STATES (019/119) contains various Robin Hood motifs that would be instinctive to a director of photography. In some scenes, Xena is framed by the camera against the greenwood tree, as if she belongs there. On first seeing her, we the audience get the impression that we have might have encountered her on some other, earlier, occasion.

I know you are, but what am I?
XWP: Altared States
”Have we met before?” “Not yet.”[Note 95]

[105] She appears and disappears on the forest paths as if they are her home.

Xena, Warrior Forester
XWP: Altared States
”What are you up to, wandering about like that, here?”[Note 96]

[106] And most evocative of all, walking along a shady lane, just talking, together.

Is there still something between my teeth?
XWP:AS
It was not quite dark in the valley, but once they had reached the path that winds down the mountain-side...[Note 97]

[107] Trees and leaves and sunlight bring back memories of children’s books and recalls the presence of Nature in almost all the Robin Hood escapades. Directors like these natural scenes too, a ‘stroll down a shady lane (known as a “walk and talk”)’[Note 98] is relatively easy to shoot. And every single one of these on Xena is shot differently from all of the other ones. This care and attention to detail shines through and sends a message to the audience that the producers care; they are not lazy. It affords a sensual joy akin to the delight of finding a painting on a leaf in the forest[Note 99] or a linguist turning the leaves of a dictionary and coming across a quotation that could have been the beginning of an idea about a series:‘The chakr or chakra is a thin knife-edged ring of flat steel, a severe missile in skilled hands.’[Note 100] Skilled hands, indeed.

[108] Of course, Xena is a woman and Xena-as-Robin having to rescue Gabrielle-as-Marian from the evil clutches of the Local-Warlord (or rogue Amazon Queen or retributive Callisto)-as-Sheriff-of-Nottingham set up some interesting dynamics and expectations about what would happen at the traditional wedding at the end of the story. And a second set of expectations arises as to whether the first set of expectations would be met or not.

[109] The story elements were adopted in instinctively as part of the story-telling process and when their consequences began to surface into conscious awareness, a playful game of “should we, should we not” slowly began to emerge, exactly paralleling the journey of discovery undertaken by young protagonists in first-love. Dilly-dallying with the petals of a daisy-oracle at production level would not have been required if a conscious decision had been made, “Xena = Robin Hood”, from which it would logically and automatically follow, “therefore, Gabrielle = Marian”. But the story asked for nothing less.

[110] Xena as revisionist history, where Xena is the source and cause of all the things usually attributed to the male participants in history, had a precedent in TV Robin Hood-land, in a series called Maid Marian and her Merry Men (TV, 1988), which provided a farcical pantomime parody of a cartoonlike feminist reversal of the traditional pattern:[Note 101] Marion, played by Kate Lonergan, was a fired-up go-getter proto-feminist with all of the ideas and all of the energy, and Robin was a foppish tailor’s son who somehow always ended up being taken as the frontman of the band no matter what Marian said or did.

[111] More importantly from a producer’s and director’s point of view, there were real trees, real mud (with Marian looking exceedingly fetching in a layer of mud) and real extras all lending an authentic atmosphere to the revisionist goings on. You could say, “Maid Marian, she started it.”

At the Pub
BBC
to know her as a person, not just a pretty object of desire and pleasure[Note 102]

[112] There is another similarity between Robin Hood and Xena: they both wear their work clothes all the time. Other heroes, especially superheroes, have to change into their costumes. In contrast, Robin Hood and Xena are permanently on hero-alert.

[113] There is another parallel between Xena and Robin Hood. It has to do with snobbery.

[114] The English settled in troubled times in the former Roman province of Brittania. They adopted Robin Hood as their hero when the Normans invaded five hundred years later. From the Norman point of view, Robin Hood was a member of the lower classes, at best a yeoman and never a noble. The ballads sung about him at taverns were dismissed as being of no consequence. This Norman viewpoint has lingered on in some parts of society and there is a danger that if you model your main character on someone like Robin Hood, the people-who-think-they-matter will treat your character the same way they were taught to treat Robin Hood. They will not “see” the character and dismiss her out of hand as belonging to the lower classes, to people who do not count.

[115] Ironically, just as revisionist Xena was written out of history by later historians (thus explaining the current mostly Xena-less historical record), a similar erasure was being applied to the show itself.

 

Invisible Girl

[116] Paradoxically, despite Xena’s worldwide visibility, Xena also falls completely and squarely within the meta-genre of the invisible woman.[Note 103]

[117] The stories men tell each other rarely involve women. If there are women, they are nameless and/or they do not do much.

[118] This becomes so “natural” that it is taken as a template by succeeding generations of story-tellers, including forgers. Even in stories concocted to give authenticity to hoax museum pieces, the woman remains invisible:. For example, in relation to the “discovery” of a small artifact, a statuette dubbed the “Snake Goddess”

there is, strangely, no record of the identity of the Greek-speaking American female archaeologist connected with the museum.[Note 104]

[119] Invisible Girl was, of course, one of the Fantastic Four (TV, 1967-1970), a sort of X-Men precursor. Exposure to space radiation gave Sue Storm the power to become invisible, a passive power. That made her easy to draw. I can’t remember much of what she did, compared to the others like Ben who became The Thing and her brother Johnny, The Human Torch. Those two were spectacularly visible during “clobberin’ time”. After a while, Sue’s alter ego became officially known in the documentation as Invisible Woman, highlighting how much of a constructed category her character was.

[120] It is probably not surprising that comic-book writers had little idea about women. The rest of “society” did not know either. When Australian Jill Ker-Conway became President of Smith College, she discovered that in academic circles there was a ‘total failure to observe the roles of women...to interpret them correctly’.[Note 105] There was a fear of women and other groups, even a hatred, that was so ingrained, endemic and widespread it surprised her: ‘I met it daily’[Note 106] she recounts, at all levels of society, even the ones that should have known better.

[121] There is a historically inherited inertia where previous assumptions have been unquestioningly adopted by each succeeding generation. ‘American society had always nursed deep suspicions of single-sex institutions.’[Note 107] It can be traced back to a centuries-old group-trauma

...America’s idiosyncratic attitudes on homosexuality...came from a Puritan fear of sexuality, and the anxieties of a migration experience in which the male/female ratio in the population had been disturbed.[Note 108]

[122] The consequence is that a set of trigger words and icons are defined. They are never taught publicly and officially. When these words and images are encountered in public life, they set off a group hyper-allergic reaction which can be confusing to an outsider.

[123] An outsider in certain situations would expect a reaction or lack of reaction but gets the complete (and unpredictable) opposite because they guess incorrectly what the trigger words are. For example, Philip Pullman wrote the His Dark Materials sequence of stories and was expecting to get savaged by the vocal US anti-vocals but no-one noticed. He was completely ignored.

I’ve been surprised by how little criticism I’ve got. Harry Potter’s been taking all the flak... I’ve been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said.[Note 109]
Apparently, Pullman’s heroine Lyra did not have the trigger qualities that Rowling’s hero Harry had.

[124] Similarly, during a prior US election year, when all sorts of things become opportunistic campaign targets for political posturing purposes, the Teletubbies (TV, 1998) were hit by various broadsides but it was all quiet on the Xena front. Xena missed out because it was invisible. The show was beneath the dignity of being noticed.

[125] But why?

[126] Women academics are often surprised ‘to discover that there had been an entire generation if women scholars’[Note 110] researching a particular subject area and then been forgotten about.

[127] Story-tellers are equally surprised to find that there were many tales in the past with women as protagonists and who subsequently became ‘forgotten heroines’.[Note 111] The conclusion is that ‘the unbalanced ratio’[Note 112] of heroes/heroines is not a natural state of affairs but is rather the result of a selection process where almost all of the selectors belonged to one group (boys) who liked, chose, edited, published, read and collected the books and stories. There was no room in that world for other groups (like girls). Perhaps, psychologically speaking, there should have been. Being taught that Eve (from the Adam and Eve story) was the source of all evil can have unintended and serious consequences for the health of future generations.

[128] An everyday example of this selection process is what gets released on DVD and what does not. Tina Louise played Sappho in an Italian film Saffo, venere di Lesbo (Francisci, 1960; US title, The Warrior Empress) apparently as a rebel leader, a sort of female Spartacus perhaps, but her role as Ginger is the one everyone knows her for. The Warrior Empress sounds like it might be an interesting film to see for several reasons. The chances of actually seeing it are slim or zero. You cannot become a fan if you are never going to see the film.

[129] Even female authors, possibly unconsciously, adopt the male story-teller pattern. An example from film history. It seems that all film history prior to the censorship boards has been wiped from the collective memory. Consequently the blanks are being filled with (a male-based) conjecture. In a gossipy[Note 113] and somewhat dreamy ‘a whole city of castles in the air’[Note 114] hoot of a book,[Note 115] Diana McLellan, ‘footnoting everything except the most lurid and improbable details’,[Note 116] posits that certain girls went to Hollywood to rebel against and escape from what she calls ‘Victorianism’[Note 117] without realising that Victorianism is a myth and only ever existed in the imagination. Says a Victorian scholar

we have systematically forgotten many of their most interesting and distinctive aspects of the period, and much of what we think we know about it is utterly false, fabricated in the twentieth century and lazily accepted as truth ever since.[Note 118]
You cannot have been a rebel if there was nothing to rebel against.

[130] What gets broadcast (and when) is another type of selection activity and, again, it is male-based.

[131] For example, the TV station that aired the show in Australia complained that everyone knew about Xena but no-one actually watched it. Consequently the ratings accountants voted for continuous schedule changes and even un-announced suspensions. Watching Xena was like trying to catch a raindrop in the television version of a drought.

[132] So how did Xena come to be automatically classified as invisible?

[133] The story of the two Radigunds, one a fictional amazon and the other a real queen, best illustrates this.

[134] Who was Radigund?

[135] When the Amazon Radigund entered the battle of champions, a formal occasion, she arrived (in Spenser’s words)

All in a Camis light of purple silke
Woven uppon with silver, subtly wrought,
And quilted uppon satin white as milke,
Trayled with ribbands diversly distraught

[ All in a light chemise of purple silk
Woven upon with silver, subtly wrought,
And quilted upon satin white as milk,
Trailed with ribbons diversly distraught ]
[Note 119]

[136] The ribbons identified her as a woman, and the purple top identified her as a certain type of woman, an Amazon, which five hundred years ago was the only way that men could understand how another type of woman could be, as a daughter of Sappho. Appearing in formal attire identified her as a warrior and marked the battle as a significant one according to the rules of chivalry. On formal occasions, even a Pictish warrior would feel naked without a coat of blue woad.

[137] This instinct for formality is so deeply ingrained in story-telling that Tolkien could play with the motif by having hobbits arriving in their humble travel attire told ‘No silks and linen, nor any armour or heraldry, could be more honourable.’[Note 120]

[138] To a modern satirist, Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is an unread textbook on literature courses[Note 121] (admittedly in an alternate timeline). There can be nothing ‘More tedious than Spenser’[Note 122]

Six volumes of boring Spenserian stanzas, the only saving grace of which is that he didn’t write the twelve volumes he had planned.[Note 123]

[139] Why is Spenser like that? Spenser took as an exemplar Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, which was being touted in Puritan England as allegorical [Note 124] when it was really picaresque .[Note 125] Spenser decided to out-ariosto Ariosto and do an equally long or longer “allegory”, even though real allegory only works in short bursts.[Note 126] The insider references he made diverted reader attention towards solving court riddles[Note 127] and when Allegory fought Story (as they eventually did), it was Story who emerged the victor.[Note 128]

[140] What is more, Spenser had to write like a woman [Note 129] about women who in turn were allegories for other women.

[141] Radigund the Amazon was the evil counterpart of the initial heroine Britomart. Radigund was evil because she was an Amazon. It stood to reason, at least in those days, that if you chose not to be in the company of men (who were on the side of the good and the civilised), then you must be on the other side, like the Catholics and Spanish were.

Britomart’s ultimate rival is Radigund, an Amazon. Consistent with early modern accounts of Amazons, Radigund is an arbitrary and autocratic ruler and a cruel mistress who torments men for her own satisfaction and pleasure.[Note 130]
Radigund destroys order, for example by imprisoning men. Radigund’s structural twin Britomart restores order (as befits all heroes), for example by freeing men:
Britomart’s defeat of Radigund, her rescue of Artegall, her future husband, from Amazonian captivity, and her subjection of the Amazons to male rule sustain Spenser’s advocacy of married love in general and allude in particular to the situation of his own Queen.[Note 131]
After Britomart wins the battle, she exits the story and goes home with a new husband. This was a veiled message to the real queen at the time, Elizabeth, who was childless and unmarried and in charge at a time when there was a lot of head-chopping going on. The head of state of a patriarchy was a woman.
Radigund or Radegone, the proud queen of the Amazons. Being rejected by Bellodant “the Bold,” she revenged herself by degrading every man who fell into her power, by dressing them like women, giving them women’s work to do, such as spinning, carding, sewing, etc., and feeding them on bread and water to effeminate them (canto 4). When she overthrew sir Artegal in single combat, she imposed on him the condition of dressing in “woman’s weeds,” with a white apron, and to spend his time in spinning flax, instead of in deeds of arms. Radigund fell in love with the captive knight, and sent Clarinda as a go-between; but Clarinda tried to win him for herself, and told the queen he was inexorable (canto 5). At length Britomart arrived, cut off Radigund’s head, and liberated the captive knight (canto 7).-[Note 132]
The allegorical women in the story had to fight each other to the death over a man; it was not possible to imagine that women could ever be friends:
Like many of his contemporaries, Spenser was unable to imagine female friendship as a viable possibility[Note 133]
(This lack of vocabulary continued into modern times, where D H Lawrence’s description of the relationship between Ursula and Winifred in chapter 12 of The Rainbow (1915) used the only language available to him, the language of the law and moral high ground of the time.)

[142] Meanwhile, outside the allegories, the real queen Elizabeth, heirless and a spinster, was a cause of concern for those worrying about the future of their positions in society:

The Fairy Queene addresses the failure of Queen Elizabeth to marry and produce an heir through the substitution of Britomart, the Knight of Chastity as married love, for Gloriana as a representation of the Queen’s body politic.[Note 134]
As time went by, court factions evolved into political parties and the concern faded and was replaced by competition for the position of head of state. Allegory was no longer needed as a teaching tool.

[143] The mother of the Muses in Greek myth, Mnemosyne, was also treated as an allegory for a time and therefore denied an independent mythological existence. Said the encyclopaedia not so long ago:

It is argued that Mnemosyne is a pure abstraction, memory personified, and that she therefore could not have been a Titan.[Note 135]
The latest editions are not so presumptive and do not make the assertion.

[144] The Muses, amongst other things, promoted the study of astronomy. In real history, some astronomers were women. To astronomers, it is therefore not a large leap to go on to admire Xena. Xena has moral strength (‘Battles against evil wrongdoers. Has greater moral character than certain Presidents.’[Note 136]).Xena was part of the wave of re-examination of the roles women play in public life:

The 1990’s saw a renewed interest in the concept of the female warrior. From the controversy of women in combat roles in the U.S. military to the popularity of television shows like “Xena: Warrior Princess”, the concept of women in what has been usually considered a man’s role is receiving greater scrutiny than ever before.[Note 137]

[145] The real Radigund, in Thuringian times fifteen hundred years ago, shaped the roles men and women played in public life. She did it so well she became a saint

Radegonde (St.) or St. Radegund, queen of France (born 519, died 587). She was the daughter of Bertaire king of Thuringia, and brought up a pagan. King Clotaire I. taught her the Christian religion, and married her in 538; but six years later she entered a nunnery, and lived in the greatest austerity.[Note 138]

[146] She supported public life by withdrawing from it and donating her wealth and time to it. Her husband the king could not complain too much. She was a queen in her own right before she married him. She instigated an enormous social change in early Europe. There are still physical traces today all over Europe of her work. Names of streets, of water mills and of villages that used to be next to her abbeys. There is even an award-winning pub in Cambridge named after her, because she is, in turn, the patron saint of one of the colleges of nearby Cambridge University.

[147] If Radigund the Amazonian allegory is not much talked about today, Queen Radigund the saint is completely forgotten in the histories of the kings.

[148] Lucy Lawless sums it up well when she says. ‘in fact, women have always been leaders of men, it’s simply that it was written out of history.’[Note 139]

Invisible Women
TV Guide
comme après la métempsycose les pensées d’une existence antérieure
(like half-remembered memories of past lives)
[Note 140]

[149] Xena’s place in real history has been forgotten (or perhaps not remembered). Women being written out of history did not stop a thousand years ago. It is still happening in modern times, for example with the output of women war artists like ‘Laura Knight, Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring (1943)’[Note 141] illustrating who kept the factories going while the men were away at battles. ‘They painted in wartime, although not at war.’[Note 142]

Xena: Warrior Riveter
SMH
’A dip in the hot tub sounds the go,’ she shouted.[Note 143]

[150] To anthropologists, this philosophy of how people (men) “deal with” women suggests that how we classify the world helps determine how we approach it[Note 144] For example, the surreal postmodernism of Green Acres can be approached with a bag of unexamined popcorn or a set of scrutinising philosophy classes, both equally entertaining

Perhaps it takes a few introductory philosophy classes to appreciate the weirdness of Green Acres and just how unique the show and its humor are.[Note 145]
A writer can approach a story by using a set of unexamined standard-issue assumptions or by using something else.

[151] A woman writer living in Northern England, the home territory of Robin Hood, approaches the Robin Hood story in several stages.

[152] Stage 1 is inspiration by the story. ‘I lived close to the places associated with him’[Note 146]

[153] Stage 2 is adoption of the story along role-specific lines:

it was natural as a girl to see myself more as Maid Marian: and she was usually locked up in a castle and needing to be rescued – being terribly brave about it, of course.[Note 147]

[154] For women, there are two extra stages. Stage 3 is adaptation into the active phase ‘What I really wanted was to imagine myself running through the forest, ready to do the rescuing.’[Note 148]

[155] Stage 4, the last stage, is the discovery that the entire story had come through a selection filter: ‘I was delighted to find that there were records of female outlaws.’[Note 149]

[156] As the ecology of stories becomes better explored, it is becoming obvious that restrictive story practices are no longer viable:

it may no longer be an option to make Cult TV that (deliberately or unconsciously) appeals predominantly to men.[Note 150]

[157] The US taboo against women, however it originated, is a tangible product and it is exportable. It is even seeping into Australian consciousness. There are Australian women TV critics who are beginning to classify biology programs about female anatomy as “Euro-porn” (meaning there are pictures and drawings of naked people and as such they would be censored in the US).[Note 151] Note that, sociolinguistically, in Australian English there is no corresponding term “US-porn” (meaning having a healthy and respectful attitude towards nudity) because the genre does not exist.

[158] The photos on video covers can provide a handy “map” of how a society marks out its terrain.

[159] The cover of a video identifies the category the video belongs to. A man holding a gun – that is drama. A man holding a woman – that is comedy. A man trying to hold a woman – that is horror. A woman posing – that is either science fiction (like an alien predator on the prowl) or an “adult” movie (like a plaything by the pool). In both cases the theme is subjugation. So any Xena movie has a small hurdle to overcome even before it starts its pitch.

[160] The video cover iconography language folds over onto the actors and traps them. The major point of focus of female actors is not their acting skills but their hairstyle. An example is the blondeness of Lilly Rush (played by Kathryn Morris) in the detective series Cold Case (TV, 2003-). ‘Her carefully quaffed dirty blonde hair-do’[Note 152] is more important to the reviewer than her detecting skills or the actress’s choice of play.

A new crusade for Najara
SH
Nobody is quite sure why we’ve become obsessed with the genre, least of all those behind the productions.[Note 153]

This attitude is deeply ingrained. Even on the Buffy DVD commentaries, the first thing the women commentators notice is the hair. The second thing they notice is the fashion. The men commentators are interested in other things and notice neither.

[161] It is entirely natural and expected that humans can apply only one classification system at a time. If you use a classification system that labels women (in caveman terms) as “Ugh!”, then you automatically exclude other classification systems that label women as “mystical” (like the Arthurian ones) or “natural” (like the European ones) or “brave and resourceful” (like in folktales from around the world) or “many-skilled” (like the Xena and New Zealand ones).

[162] As for Cold Case, there is conjecture on why it is so popular in Australia.

Maybe, said the star of the most successful new drama to hit Australia this year, Cold Case’s Kathryn Morris, it’s because the new dramas are based very closely on the crimes and police that we all live with every day.[Note 154]
Kathryn Morris speculates that the attitude and spirit of the real people in the cases survives into the stories that become the broadcast episodes: ‘”they somehow have this undying devotion for the solving of the cold cases”’.[Note 155]

[163] Story-telling is a way of classifying things, of describing the actual world and the imagined world. Story-telling is a language, where the “words” are the motifs that are selected and used. It is easier to use an existing motif with its built-in connotations rather than invent a new one and having to exert yourself in developing a fresh set of connotations to go with it.

[164] If the audience does all the work for you, why bother filling in the blanks?

[165] Consider the motif of “island”.

Ask someone to picture an island, and they’ll most likely describe an idyllic desert island, with swaying palm trees and sandy beaches. Absolutely blissful.[Note 156]

[166] The “let’s make women invisible” rule is so strong that children pick up on it quite early and use it to infer rules about other parts of society. For example, the phrase “manned flight” is so often read in this context to mean “men-only” (instead of “manually guided”) that teachers can make mood-lightening parenthetic remarks like ‘(of course manned flights don’t just have men on them, they have women too.)’[Note 157]

[167] Some people may know the specific history of the Latin word manus “hand”; some people may not. Given words and phrases like “manuscript”, “manual”, “manually operated”, “manacles”,“manner”, “mandatory”, “writ of mandamus”, “manufacture”, and even “manure” and “mound”, you can tell there is some sort of family relationship between them even if you do not know their histories.

[168] History is important all the same. Everything has a history. If the actual history is not known, then a history is invented to make plausible sense of things. Invented history is made from things at hand, “manually” you might say.

[169] For example, non-lawyers would naturally think that “distress”, meaning “anguish”, was borrowed metaphorically to describe the furniture-maker’s act of “distressing a table”[Note 158] or the graphic-designer’s equivalent for a book cover ‘artfully distressed, like some much-used pulp fiction paperback’.[Note 159] Ribbons can be distraught as well. So what is going on?

[170] The legal remedy of distress available under the old law of debt meant that distraining something from someone, taking it away from them, was allowable, for example to satisfy a debt. It was common in the days before money.

[171] The law of contract has recently moved into this area in the last few centuries and nowadays the remedy of restitution of damages caused by a breach of contract is much more commonly asked for than a distraint of goods.

[172] Distraint has faded from modern public knowledge, so the “distress” it metaphorically caused the distrainee is not seen by commentators as something to make a note of. For example, the absence of Tess’s father’s horse in Tess of the d’Urbervilles would lead her family to distress and penury[Note 160] but the commentators read the words in their modern meanings and so did not annotate Thomas Hardy’s sentence. It did not occur to them that the modern meaning was different to the actual meaning being used. The sentence makes sense either way.

[173] It is interesting to note, but probably not surprising now, that even though Tess conjectured on the possibility of other worlds, she has never been included in any histories chronicling the development of ideas in science fiction. Here is Tess and her brother discussing the possibility one evening: ‘’Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘All like ours?’ ‘I don’t know; but I think so.’’[Note 161] Tess is an invisible women in science fiction histories.

[174] Invisible women do not question assumptions.

[175] According to popular film history, we used to live in caves. Nowadays we build ourselves artificial caves called houses, apartments and skyscrapers. We all know that clothing was invented, yet we pretend (especially in movies) that cave-people always wore something fashionable (with matching hairstyles). We live on the only planet in the solar system where you can

Run around outside for more than a second without any clothes on (even if you do get some funny looks).[Note 162]
Yet not many people do. Why is that?

[176] All humans are born. We are a part of nature. Consider ‘this alienation from a state of nature’[Note 163] thought experiment

Imagine, as art lovers jostled for a view of the 1994 Archibald portrait of a nude Kate Ceberano, their reaction had the subject herself appeared among them without a stitch. As with the life model, context is all. On dais or canvas, she’s the object of our regard, the cynosure of all eyes; off it, she’s a criminal.[Note 164]

[177] Actual US news is censored for the same “reason”.[Note 165] There was shock in Australia that American TV news shows were more concerned about the possibility of showing nakedness than about showing people mistreating each other.

[178] Actual nudity in itself is boring ‘and watching people get their gear off time and again gets a little boring’.[Note 166] It is uninteresting and ‘quickly becomes unremarkable’[Note 167] but simultaneously suppressing it and glamorizing it is a plank that allows the further suppression of something else that is natural, namely, motherhood and breast-feeding. And from there it becomes easier to put in more planks that tell people what to do about other things, like skirts and scarves and what type of mop to hold. Soon a ricketty structure is built up that absorbs a huge amount of effort to maintain and defend. Removing one plank (like allowing the Teletubbies on TV) could threaten the entire structure of society. The alternative is to admit that the structure is wrong (or at least past its sell-by date), but to do that would imply that the original designers of the structure were also wrong, and no one wants to admit that.

[179] Imagine if the Adamites had settled in North America instead of the Puritans. Imagine if the Puritans had been equally numbered between men and women when they ran away from England. Being human would not have become a crime.

[180] This is the world children are taught even if we do not intend to teach them that. Note that in the comics and cartoons, The Thing was drawn with pants (blue ones, of course). In send-ups, he would be drawn wearing yellow pants with little blue-capped sailor ducks on them. In real life, he was just a rock. The youngsters pick up on these infantile grown-up “planked”” versions of the world and subsume them into their own world-views. After all, what other world-view will they experience?

[181] In real life Australia not so long ago, women were not allowed into public bars to be served drinks even though they could work behind the bars and they often owned the pubs (just like Xena’s mother Cyrene did in Amphipolis).

[182] Women walking into bars was impossible. Xena and Gabrielle did it all the time..

 

 

Two Girls in a Tavern

[183] In terms of telling a story, Xena falls completely and squarely within a distinct class inside a classification system that has not been described yet.

[184] Comparison of the Xena story technique with other story-telling best illustrates this.

[185] Motifs are the atoms of story-telling. There are two types of motifs used to tell a story. There are story motifs whose function is to point directly to real-world events and places so that the real-world and the story-world begin to overlap and the story becomes “truer”. For example, near the beginning of the adventure film Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Fleischer, 1954), “Jappa” is mentioned in the song that Kirk Douglas sings. There is also some humorous sea-sickness schtick on the sailing ship. Xena uses both of these motifs, where Jappa was the location of the last episode, and in various boat-based episodes throughout the series Gabrielle’s sea-sickness and its remedies provided some comic relief.

[186] There are also motifs whose task is to provide indirect hints to other stories, adding layers just like the real-world has. At the start of Twenty Thousand Leagues, an eyewitness is telling the incredulous crowd in the street about a sea-monster. A sailor (Kirk again) walks up with a lady on each arm and joins in the heckling. It is never explained what the ladies are for but older or more experienced members of the audience will know.

[187] Xena also uses indirect motifs, sometimes unintentionally. Imagine two girls in a tavern. One is a battle-hardened well-travelled warrior and the other is an innocent peasant girl.

Butch and Sundancer
XWP
The aunts didn’t have any boundaries to speak of...[Note 168]

[188] Immediately a stereotype dynamic, the butch-femme relationship template, springs into mind. As soon as the production crew realised this, they consciously attempted to de-emphasise this dynamic partly by making Gabrielle a more equal sidekick type, more of a warrior, and partly by keeping Xena womanly. To the psychologists, Xena is ‘A scantily-clad butch who’s still femme enough to please the boys’[Note 169]

[189] The choice of one motif over another also carries significance. Xena wears brown leather. Black leather is a motif that was deliberately avoided from the beginning. Brown is a “softer” choice. It was still leather, though: ‘leather is sexy, it’s durable’.[Note 170]

[190] Imagine Xena wearing black leather. Would we expect her to chew gum? And what colour would her steed be? Before she even speaks a word we know what we are going to get with someone like that, a sort of a rebel, like a Brando or a Faith. Luckily there was no chewing gum in Ancient Greece (apparently). And all the steeds had four legs – but that is another story.

[191] Drawing conclusions from comparisons must be done carefully. Even so, the conclusion could easily be plausible and incorrect. For example, if you see two Renees who bear a passing resemblance to each other, and you find they both lived in Katy, Texas, and they both became actors, you might think they had the same great-grandparents. Or it is just a coincidence. Not even Keira Knightley’s mother could tell her daughter apart from Natalie Portman when the make-up went on in Star Wars I.

[192] With that proviso in mind, what movies could be called Xena’s filmic forebears? Which films supplied the motifs that were woven into the Xena tapestry?

[193] The name “Xena” may have come from the film Beach Babes from Beyond (DeCoteau, 1993) where three aliens called Xena, Sola, Luna crash-landed on an Earth beach and had various bikini-based adventures.

[194] Xena was originally intended to be blonde. The plot template of a typical Xena episode and blondeness of the heroine may have come from Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back (Finley, 1989).

[195] The idea of amazons may have come from Amazons (Sessa, 1986), and probably a million other movies as well, but the timing is right.

[196] The inspiration for the Xena sets and the swordplay may have come from The Warrior and the Sorceress (Broderick, 1984).

[197] Xena’s costume and also her first-episode concern for children, may have come from Red Sonja (Fleischer, 1985). Fleischer’s name turns up a lot in relation to Xena-matters.

[198] The spectacular scenery and the idea of a chatty blonde sidekick may have come from Conan II: Conan the Destroyer (Fleischer, 1984), where Olivia d’Abo played a petulant Princess Jehnna and the current Governor of California played the brooding hero. Tying the annoying Jehnna to a standing stone while the hero had a quiet think could easily have been a scene in a Xena episode.

[199] There was something happening to background music in the mid 1990s. It became common to have ‘an intriguing and effective blend of adventure aerial-style strings and ethnic instruments’.[Note 171]

[200] It is possible that the films you see when you are younger could influence the films you make as a producer and director. It could also be a coincidence. Choosing motifs is mostly done consciously. Sets, scenes, costumes, plots, props, appearances, direction. As a producer or director, you get to choose whether to use them or not. You do not have time to analyze why they work in the story.

[201] There are other motifs that are unavoidable and some of them are not obvious, even to people who should know, like the writers.

[202] Xena (and also Gabrielle) experience events that with hindsight form part of a compulsory system of motifs. The system is self-consistent and transcends series and shows. As Major Carter (as she then was) in the Stargate SG-1 (TV, 1997-) episode (147/715) CHIMERA put it: “all my boyfriends end up dead”.

[203] The boyfriend-of-the-female-lead motif is a strong one. Sarah Inbody in a Whoosh! article examines in depth the parallels between Xena and Ares on the one hand and Buffy and Spike on the other.[Note 172]

[204] Being brought up on syndicated anthology shows like the original Star Trek (TV 1966-1969), where the episodes reset at the end so that they can be shown in any order, makes it more difficult to view arc shows where one episode leads into another to form a longer story. You miss stuff if you miss too many episodes. Like the fact that Xena (and Gabrielle) had boyfriends in their backstory.

[205] There is a perception among part of the audience that Xena (and Gabrielle), at first glance and strange to say, never had any boyfriends.[Note 173] Strange to say because the question “Have you got a boyfriend yet?” comes from an entirely different world a long time ago, almost like Cyrene’s eternal question to her daughter Xena, “Are you married yet?” (see LYRE, LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510)). A closer examination of the series (that is, watching more than one episode) actually shows that the landscape is literally littered with ex-boyfriends and one-time husbands.

[206] The motifs and the interlocking system they form are completely unmissable in hindsight.

[207] This motif-system, as a system, was unknown to the writers and producers at the time of story-creation otherwise they would not have needed to make adjustments partway through the process in later episodes or have the characters make self-referential remarks about them like Gabrielle does in BLIND FAITH (042/218) about her boyfriend history.

[208] Following Sarah Inbody’s example, we can give a high-level overview of some other parallels between Xena (and Gabrielle) and other heroines.

[209] Firstly, there is the awkward boyfriend. Because of her career and lifestyle choice, the heroine has trouble with boyfriends, in particular fitting him into her busy schedule. Even if both want to be together, it is impractical.

[210] Samantha Carter of Stargate Command is off-world a lot, Buffy the vampire slayer lives in her own universe, Sabrina the teenage witch needs to juggle mortal commitments and her own with great skill, Xena and Gabrielle are wandering across the Known World and beyond, Lyra is passing between worlds while growing up, Princess Leia is leading a rebellion on the side while begin a senator. Dangerous professions like archaeology and spying place any potential boyfriends in the line of fire, like with the two Sydneys, relic-hunter Professor Fox and many-aliased Agent Bristow. The Black Scorpion’s boyfriend is on the verge of Lois Laning her.

[211] The heroine has a missing father. The reason can be anything appropriate to the story.

[212] Sam’s father has become a Tok’Ra host, Buffy’s father is missing in action, Sabrina’s father is in a book, Xena’s father is unknown, Lyra’s father turns out to be a shock in both who he is and what he wants to do to her and the universe, Princess Leia’s father ditto, the Black Scorpion’s father is there only a short while, and Sydney Bristow’s father is a complex conundrum.

[213] The heroine’s mother, being an Invisible Woman does not have so many restrictions placed on her. She may or may not exist in the story. If she does, she may or may not want to destroy the universe for purposes of the plot. However, as a character, she will be somewhat distant from the heroine, almost “invisible”, and does not have a guiding hand in her development.

[214] And lastly, the heroine has a circle of dependable friends on who she can at times rely.

[215] Stories with heroines require this structure.

Fictional children possessing caring hands-on parents can never aspire to the same level of independence which from the start makes Lyra such a potentially interesting as well as attractive character.[Note 174]

[216] The type of social template shown by this collection of motifs is partly drawn from fairy-tales and partly patterned on what seems to be the real world.

[217] Usually it has been the case that society’s rules have flowed into popular culture, but recently there has begun a flow the other way.

[218] It is refreshing to see legal philosophers like Martha Nussbaum beginning to make references to popular culture (albeit in footnotes), for example in discussing the reasons behind the American disgust of breast-feeding,[Note 175] an act which, incidentally, Xena presented in a very positive light.

[219] In early Hollywood, ‘With few taking moviemaking seriously as a business, the door was wide open to women.’[Note 176] One of these early movie-makers was producer Frances Marion. She made, amongst other films, ‘The Amazons (Kaufman, 1917)’,[Note 177]Cytherea (Fitzmaurice, 1924)’[Note 178] and ‘Cynara (Vidor, 1932)’.[Note 179] A passing remark by her biographer shows that in those days nursing mothers were welcome in movie theatres.[Note 180] This probably partly explains why Walt Disney’s early pitch about an animated mouse was rejected at first: ‘pregnant women would be frightened of a ten-foot tall rodent on the screen’[Note 181] .

[220] Nussbaum’s thesis covers the role of disgust in the foundation of the law.

[221] All sorts of things have been considered disgusting at various times. There was an early Ibsen play:

When at last it was staged in Europe, critics described it as “naked loathsomeness” and “an open sewer”.[Note 182]
There is body hair in modern times: ‘currently seen as a kind of disgusting excess’[Note 183] ‘If they [teenage girls] think it is disgusting, they are getting that message from around them’.[Note 184] The wearing of perfume in Paris was disgusting, not because of the smell, but because it reminded people of prostitutes: ‘in 1855, Queen Victoria caused a furore during a royal visit to Paris’.[Note 185] Even acting was considered a disgusting profession until people started being rewarded for being good actors. ‘This helped make acting a far more respectable profession.’[Note 186]

[222] Xena could have provided a useful example of disgust and its effects and consequences, for example in the episode WARRIOR...PRINCESS (015/115) where the naive and innocent Princess Diana encounters something disgusting on her first night outside of the castle when Gabrielle is getting ready for the night:

D: “Why are you throwing those rags on the soil?”
G: “It’s gonna be dark soon; I think we should get some sleep.”
D: “I agree, but why are you putting those r— We’re sleeping on the ground?”
G: “That’s what Xena does.”[Note 187]

[223] In modern society, being female is a punishment, like when (male) actors have to undergo ‘the basic humiliation of changing sexes’.[Note 188] Being naked is also a modern detriment – novelists put their characters through it as a punishment: ‘And, stripped, they must face their friends in full humiliation.’[Note 189]

[224] Xena neutralizes these negative proscriptions with its own positive assertions. Being a mother is not a sin. Being a woman is not a sin. Being human (and therefore, ultimately, naked) is not a sin. Eating venison in the forest like Robin Hood is not a sin. What is a sin is forcing yourself onto others.

[225] People admire Xena for standing up to the oppressors. Xena provides a set of templates.

 

Template Xena

[226] Templates are in play. Buffy is ‘a kind of virgin huntress a la that ancient Roman deity Diana’[Note 190] like Xena. To classical scholars, Xena is ‘a Diana-like warrior’[Note 191] (using the Roman name for Artemis). To Peter Jackson fans, Xena is the source of ‘a skilled workforce’.[Note 192] To TV watchers used to period settings, Xena ranged over such a wide historical and geographical area it was almost like an ancient Greek Quantum Leap (TV, 1989-1993).

[227] However, Greek myths themselves do the same. The myths may have provided an unintended template for the story-telling. Xena appears in different times and places with no thought of inter-episode timelines or historical continuity, just like Zeus appears in different times and places, changing as required into a golden shower, a swan or a bull for a safe liaison, or changing the desirables into heifers, laurel trees or bears in the sky (like Callisto, now the constellation of Ursa Major).

[228] Xena, in turn, has become a template for other story-tellers.

[229] To other story-tellers, Xena is a woman in leather. So to invoke the essence of Xena, they put their character in leather also.

[230] The series The New Adventures of Robin Hood (TV, 1997-1999) used this technique.

a leather-bikini-clad ... Marian to reflect inactively the impact of Xena in living rooms around the world.[Note 193]
It also used action to emulate Xena.
drawing on the success of the television series Xena: Warrior Princess in combining antique fantasy with kung-fu style action.[Note 194]

[231] Keira Knightley’s Guinevere in the recent ‘This is Dark Ages stuff’[Note 195] film King Arthur, a ‘culture-defining myth’,[Note 196] wears a costume that is ‘a study in strategic strapping’.[Note 197] The film is about Guinevere[Note 198]

who, while the other lads are charging around in armour, manages to do quite nicely in an off-the-shoulder job that gives her freedom for her bow and arrow work, and would obviously fit in at a cocktail party afterwards.[Note 199]

[232] Keira Knightley is already familiar to SF-fantasy-adventure viewers – ‘she played the decoy Queen Amidala’[Note 200] – but here the film-makers wanted someone harder and stronger. ‘They wanted her to be a real tough cookie.’[Note 201] In this film she plays ‘a Woad warrior’[Note 202] and she wears ‘eye-catching outfits’.[Note 203] She says, ‘It’s a bit like wearing a crop top. Only made out of leather.’[Note 204] It is part of a trend, ‘the first indication of a trend toward modest dressing by barbarian sword maidens’[Note 205]

Total Film
TF Aug 2004
I could’ve had the lot of ‘em[Note 206]

[233] In the film,

the Woads are viewed as forest-dwelling savages by the Romans and speak in a Celtic tongue not a million miles from Elvish.[Note 207]
In history, the Picts were famous for wearing blue (and nothing else) into battle so a modern film about them is obviously not going to be totally authentic. Says Knightley ‘Obviously I wasn’t too keen on going naked, and neither was anybody else.’[Note 208]

[234] To other story-tellers, Xena is silk.

[235] In the first quarter-final of the second series of Strictly Dancing (TV, 2004), one of the contestants, Laura, was introduced in the salsa round by being compared to Xena.

[236] Here is a picture. It is straight off the TV and has been despeckled but it still a bit blurry.

Faux Xena

inspired by Xena, the Warrior Princess[Note 209]

Skimpy

[237] When Ruslana of Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2004 with her exuberant Carpathian Mountains-inspired Wild Dances, the wire reports described her as wearing skimpy leather like Xena. That makes the reporter sound as if he is from New York or St Petersburg describing someone from California or Kiev. I would not have called leather “skimpy”. Silk, yes, but not leather.

[238] There is something Xena-like about Ruslana.

Ruslana of Ukraine
SMH
Ruslana of Ukraine

[239] It seems that for a certain part of the audience, ‘the scantily clad lissome lass Xena’[Note 210] is going to be forever associated with the likes of Charlie’s Angels (TB, 1976-1981) who had

undercover identities...that frequently necessitated skimpy attire and the application of feminine wiles[Note 211]
And then there is the series Charmed TV, 1998-) with its ‘Hot chicks in skimpy outfits’[Note 212] where they even did an Amazonian pair of episodes with Melissa George as Amazon Queen. A by-stander makes a remark about a “Xena convention” when the Amazons leave behind the invisibility of their island and walk around the city as if they owned the place.

[240] Where could people have got the idea from that Xena is skimpy?

What is this, The Man Show?
XWP:HSCMA
Contestants running

[241] It is almost as if Xena is seen as upholding the girly stereotypes of clothes, hats, mirrors, and dying.

Hats and Mirrors

[242] Anthropologists are interested in how different groups of people organise themselves and sometimes how the groups interact. Anthropologists interested in story-tellers are very keen on exploring how ideas and systems of ideas move about from one category or context to another and how “translations” from one semiotic system to another occur.

[243] A trivial example is where you show a slave auction, then you have to have it so that ‘the [slave-auction] brokers’ outfits are ridiculously over-the-top’[Note 213] almost as if the original template came from an Ali Baba musical extravaganza of the 1940s. Once the idea lodges in the brain, it becomes impossible to evict it and replace it with something different, like a sort of mental cuckoo chick. Xena has had its share of outrageously-dressed auction bidders and contestant-sponsors.

[244] Xena’s coverage of the wide expanses of Storyland has been so extensive and thorough that the series in its later stages began to source templates from itself.

[245] The knife-at-the-throat-of-Gabrielle is a commonly-used one and obviously comes from swashbuckling stories, pirate yarns and other movies where the denizens are uncouth. This motif allowed Renee O’Connor the scope to develop 47 different ways to “act” in such circumstances. Likewise the Director of Photography reworks compositions and themes from previous episodes:

Watch for a repeat of the porch tableau from ‘The Debt’, this time with Xena standing in Lao Ma’s place.[Note 214]

[246] In the 1950s comedies that became the template for womanly behaviour, it was the hats, mirrors and other vain fripperies that always exasperated the male hero, to the delight of the audience.

[247] Xena uses such props as well but gives them the added twist of being a launching pad for other ideas.

[248] In Xena, putting on a hat or trying out new clothes always leads to the discovery of a spatial anomaly and the sending of an away-team to investigate. Oops, wrong series. Not really. In Xena, Gabrielle generally tries out a hat, notices something or someone, interacts with them, and thereby starts a wild gooseberry chase which can be either sweet or sour depending on which particular genre the episode is covering that night.

Gabrielle, master of disguise
XWP:ASC
An obstinate donkey

Gab is...dear? horny? You make the pun
XWP:KS
Xena-as-an-Outsider

Gab a la mode
XWP:LOTC
Ephiny’s Ghost

[249] In the case of mirrors, reflection brings revelation, not the vanity and rivalry of Snow-White’s step-mother’s mirror. There is contemplation of injustice in the world, what the future has brought, what the past will bring. Somewhat like Galadriel’s mirror, without quite being explicitly articulated as such.

Through a glass darkly
XWP:ASC
That donkey again

Who knew that mirrors could foretell events?
XWP:BTL
The Future I

Xena and Gab look into the future and see their post-facelift selves
XWP:CH
The Past I’s

[250] In addition to a magnetic throat and a hobby in millinery and mirror-polishing, another essential requirement in a Xena sidekick is the ability in comedy or drama to go flat out, literally.

Stoned again
XWP:AS
Holding down the ground after a nutbread infusion

Nice boots
XWP:LDITE
She died with her boots on

[251] Between these and other fixed and static points, Gabrielle’s character travels along dynamic development arcs like a trapeze artist between trapezes.

 

Swords, Staves and Sais, Oh My!

I got beauty – and I got talent – and I got Greek gods crazy for me, I’ll have you to know, madame.[Note 215]

[252] Simultaneously a source of pratfalls and a source of innuendo that became known as The Subtext, the multiple-viewing-angle capability of Xena’s sidekick also had precedents:

These were films [Stars Wars and Indiana Jones] in which the pratfalls happily co-existed with the innuendo, and whichever made you laugh was up to you. A generation has grown into them, adjusting their viewing angle with the passing years.[Note 216]

[253] Gabrielle’s evolution can be summed up one way by listing the weapons she fought with: talking, an early misguided attempt at swordplay (see picture), an Amazon fighting staff for a long time, a powder puff(!, Gabrielle was the original Powder Puff Girl) for a brief period, nothing (to emulate the way of Peace), and finally and forcefully, a pair of pronged gardening implements called sais.

Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry
XWP first season
The guards exchanged glances. One of them came close, leaning to peer into Suzanne’s face. “She ain’t got on much makeup.” He looked downward. “And she’s wearing sensible shoes. Maybe she is a writer.”[Note 217]

[254] A sword requires a heavy hand. Sais are more dangerous. Catch a sword blade between the prongs and main shaft, give a twist of the wrist, and the sword blade snaps. Sais are anti-samurai weapons. In this sense, they naturally suit Gabrielle’s development – firstly she was the avoider, then the parryer, then refuser, and now she has become the disarmer.

The acorn has become the oak
XWP final season
Elle comprenait qu’elle faisait partie des faibles,...
(She began to realise that she was part of the world of Fairy-tale...)
[Note 218]

And on her legs she painted buskins wore,
Basted with beads of gold on every side,
And mailes betweene, and laced close afore:
Uppon her thigh her Cemitare was tide,
With an embroidered belt of mickel pride.

[ And on her legs she painted buskins wore,
Basted with beads of gold on every side,
With chainmail between and laced up in front.
Upon her thigh her scimitar was tied,
With an embroidered belt of much pride. ]
[Note 219]

[255] The youngsters in South Park (TV, 1997-) in the ninja episode (112/801) GOOD TIMES WITH WEAPONS know what sais are. Elektra has them in Daredevil (Johnson, 2003) and probably in the upcoming spinoff Elektra (Bowman, 2005). And so do, of course, the ancient Egyptian combatants in The Mummy Returns (Sommers, 2001).

Sais at one pace
TMR
The crowd yelled encouragement and Cheri, staring at the elated face of her friend, suddenly realised with absolute clarity what her bright new future was to be[Note 220]

[256] Tracking Gabrielle’s development is possible because Xena is not an anthology show. Anthology shows, where everything “resets” at the end of each episode, were originally requested so that episodes could be shown in any order during syndication repeats. The original Star Trek series adopted the anthology format in order to achieve initial transmission.

[257] The philosophy behind anthology shows is obscure. Why would anyone intentionally request episodes that can be shown in any order? Unless the person picking up the tape reels and putting them on the machine was their nephew and was not able to read the labels. It is the only explanation that makes any sense. On the radio, if I was reading out Alice in Wonderland in serial format, I would not read out chapter 14 the first week, then chapter 10 the second week, then chapter 2, then chapter 15, and so on. However, if it was Science Mystery Theatre 1000, where the mysteries are all self-contained, then the order can be random.

[258] The existence of anthology shows implies the existence of a (probably commercial) pecking order where the audience is, ultimately, excluded from all relevant considerations. What matters most is the income stream, not the story.

[259] The creative cycle from ‘groundbreaking and innovative’[Note 221] to ‘hidebound and formulaic’[Note 222] also implies the existence of an economically-based pecking order where at the peak of success laziness in creativity trumps innovation and enthusiasm. After all, if you are raking it in, what incentive is there to do things differently? And if you are at the bottom of the heap, there is no financial risk in trying something new and everything to gain. The laziness has been getting a bit obvious lately in a lot of shows and is becoming a bit of a turn-off

[260] Australia does not have syndication. In Australia, there are only 3 commercial free-to-air TV networks. They reschedule shows on to different nights, into the late hours when no one is watching, or pull them off-air for indefinite periods (months or even years). They would even pull them permanently if there was not a pesky thing called a package distribution contract which has a clause that says “You can’t have this season’s A shows unless you transmit all episodes of last season’s B, C and D shows.” The practical outcome for Xena was that an entire first-run season was programmed daily against the 2000 Olympics coverage. This in turn resulted in a flurry of fast and furious activity with the remote.

[261] The only show that has not moved its timeslot in Australia is the 30-minute “news” (really ads, sports updates and actual news in equal measure of ten minutes each).

[262] The audience is expected to follow a show like lemmings, so it does not matter where the show goes in the schedule. This disdain, contempt and arrogance shown towards the audience makes dedicated sports channels on satellite and cable TV a viable alternative, as DVDs are for series. Luckily for the commercial networks, the current broadband infrastructure is too narrow, otherwise the Internet would also be an alternative for everything.

[263] How does this contempt arise? A recent study suggests an “us-and-them” mentality

Ms Lumby said part of the problem was that commercial programmers formed part of an arrogant “boys’ club” who felt they knew best.[Note 223]
There is an unwillingness of “giving it a go”:
Fear of failure has gradually produced a contempt for risk and creativity, as well as an extraordinary corporate alienation of viewers. Yanking off a scheduled show at the last moment may be an inconvenience to viewers, but have you ever really been convinced those network executives care?[Note 224]

[264] And then there is an inherited pecking order. If you are taught that being an actor is the lowliest profession in the world, and that television is lower than the stage, and that syndicated television is lower than regular television, and that shows where the characters do not wear ties are lower than the shows where they do, who are you to think anything different? Yet shows like Stargate SG-1 that have ‘incredible production values’[Note 225] and where the producers are ‘fully aware that it had to come up to film quality standard’[Note 226] do well. For a given value of “well”. They never make the awards, though.

[265] Bruce Campbell has something to say about syndication:

Syndicated shows, in the world of television, are bastard step-children and therefore little attention is paid to their production values, Pound for pound, Hercules has more true design – in sets, costumes, and special effects – than ER and Frasier combined, yet you’ll never hear the words “Emmy” and “Hercules” in the same sentence.[Note 227]

[266] It is like saying that fairy-tales are the lowest form of literature, or even questioning whether they are literature at all, so that it becomes “allowable” to treat their readers with disdain. And even not to “see” them at all, like Diane Ravitch does:

One [language text] book, published by Prentice Hall (with the subtitle “Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes”) has an excerpt from a script of the once-popular television program Xena: Warrior Princess. This script would not qualify as “literature” by any standard other than one in which absolutely everything in print is “literature.”[Note 228]

[267] Which brings us to another riddle: Why is Xena like a rainbow lorikeet?

 

Paradox

[268] July in Sydney, Australia, is really cold. July is the middle of winter. Some people escape the ‘cruel winters’[Note 229] by going to New York. Other people wear ‘flirty dresses’[Note 230] and go about ‘vêtues de minijupes incroyablement courtes [wearing incredibly short miniskirts]’.[Note 231] Sydney is that type of place.

[269] Australia is a land of ‘dry rivers’[Note 232] and other paradoxes. It is an old continent only recently described to science yet long-predicted. It is on the other side of the world yet speaks English (sort of). The trees shed their bark in spring (instead of their leaves in autumn). The conservative political party call themselves the “Liberals”. The academic year coincides with the calendar year. The National Parks are administered by the states.

[270] Christmas, of course, is in summer, with bright sun during the day and the glittering stars of the constellation Orion walking upside down through the night sky. It gets very hot. Here is what Christmas Eve looks like in the Botanical Gardens at lunchtime.

Hollyhocks in the Botanical Gardens
em
the People of Artemis gathered to celebrate the earth’s reflowering[Note 233]

[271] The birds sing all year round and they do it in chorus (otherwise they couldn’t hear each other). The brilliant red-and-green plumage of the rainbow lorikeets is perfect camouflage as they sip morning and evening nectar from the bright red flowers and bright green foliage of the bottlebrushes.

[272] Australia is about the size of the continental United States but has the population of New York. Most people love the Outback but live on the coast – it is too lonely otherwise.

There is no way to comprehend the boundless loneliness of the Australian outback until you fly over it and look down upon a cinnabar red emptiness that appears not to belong to familiar Earth.[Note 234]

[273] Some cattle stations are so large that the best way to find lost cows is to use GPS.[Note 235] And it is not only cows who lose track of whose property they are on:

the domain was divided into paddocks, as they were called; but these were so large that a stranger might wander in one of them for a day and never discover that he was enclosed.[Note 236]

[274] There is a magic, almost inevitable, about it all:

the southern continent...was said to have all the characteristics of a magical site. This hidden continent should have had abundant precious metals, stones, and rare wood, along with strange animals and kind and gentle people.[Note 237]

[275] Under skies ‘embroidered with the stars of the southern hemisphere’[Note 238] the Australian character has ‘an unorthodox aversion to dependent inutility’.[Note 239]

[276] There is continual interest in Outback Australia,[Note 240] in living an adventure ‘in semi-arid Australia’[Note 241] with

ambition, love of adventure, the quest for intellectual power, physical courage and endurance, risk taking[Note 242]
‘An Australian outback childhood’[Note 243] is the life of a pioneer
A childhood without electricity or gas, daily struggles with quirky wood stoves and outdoor privies[Note 244]

[277] It is an empty place and solitary place: ‘herding sheep and cattle across the vast, empty plains of inland Australia’[Note 245] ‘A solitary childhood and adolescence...on the family sheep station’[Note 246] ‘we could go months without seeing another human being come by the homestead’[Note 247]

[278] There is the terror of isolation usually only seen in science fiction films[Note 248] and it is the girl who remains on ‘an isolated sheep station, virtually an only child while my brothers were in boarding school’[Note 249]

[279] The word “station” implies the emptiness, the vastness and the loneliness. Someone brought up that way would only need to say to a fellow Australian “I grew up on Coorain Station” and they would be understood. To someone else, they would have to translate and say that they had a ‘childhood on a remote and lonely Australian sheep and cattle property’.[Note 250]

[280] Portions of Coorain Station are now part of the archaeologically significant Lake Mungo National Park and Willandra Lakes National Park in the Arid Zone of western New South Wales. Lake Mungo used to have water in it 10,000 years ago before the climate changed. Ironically, the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales (the NWPS) is soliciting accounts of the contribution of women to Outback life in an attempt to boost tourism numbers. We know what the men did, but have absolutely no idea what the women did even though they formed half of the population.

[281] Things would have been much different if early choices had gone even slightly in another direction.

[282] Playing “What if” is a historian and science fiction writer’s delight. If Dutch explorer Van Dieman had turned left at Tasmania, we’d all be speaking Dutch now. If part-time English pirate William Dampier had not been such an exaggerating bard with his journals of exploration, New Holland would not have become such a desired destination. If La Perouse had arrived 15 minutes earlier, Napoleon would have had an admirable southern holiday spot. If the Imperial Expeditionary Force had not given up in the Battle of the Coral Sea, we would have entered the Japanese Economic Sphere a generation sooner. If there had been no Boston “Tea Party” protesting against taxes, then Botany Bay would not have been considered as an alternative destination for the overflowing prison riff-raff of forgers, pick-pockets and bread-stealers and there would have been one less Star Trek episode and movie.

[283] It is no paradox that there is a rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, especially in sporting prowess but also in other things.

[284] The politest joke about New Zealand is one like this about the sheep: ‘”How was New Zealand?” “Green and full of sheep.”’[Note 251]

[285] With the number of sheep in New Zealand out-numbering the people there, it makes for some ribald Australian jokes about Kiwis. It is similar to the traditional rivalry between Yale Law School and Harvard Law School so aptly summed up by writer Dorothy Parker:

And there was that wholesale libel on a Yale prom. If all the girls attending it were laid end to end, Mrs Parker said, she wouldn’t be at all surprised.[Note 252]

[286] If Xena had been touted as coming from New Zealand, the Australian reaction would have been “Ho hum!”, just as if the editor of the Yale Law Review (in the movies) had received a submission from a Harvard student. But Xena came in a package from America and the response was “Gimme! Gimme!”, like Xena herself when she saw the great katana sword in Jappa. How that initially enthusiastic response failed to be nurtured and how the show was shuffled all over the timetable by the captains of commercials is another story.

[287] Being legally outside the US has some advantages and disadvantages for Australia, depending on how you look at it.

[288] With a view based ‘on this side of the Equator’[Note 253] Australians get used to “translating” from a Northern Hemisphere idiom to a local one. ‘The only strangeness was the pines and larches instead of the familiar gumtrees.’[Note 254]

[289] Usually the cultural translation process is a smooth one. Once in a while there is something that has no exact equivalent and is a little bit of a puzzle.

[290] Some words and ideas are easy, like ‘folks’[Note 255] and ‘tent-pole character’.[Note 256] Some require an explanation, like the movie trailers that pack everything in. They are called ‘Winnebagos = trailers with everything including the kitchen sink’.[Note 257] Some terms like ‘Boston marriages’[Note 258] are found in only one dictionary. Other terms like ‘truck garden ... shade tobacco’[Note 259] are not found in any dictionaries at all.

[291] Some terms are completely misunderstood at the source, like the person who thought that Xander ‘’getting a happy’’[Note 260] in Buffy meant that Xander was in a state of happiness (which he probably was, when you think about it). That person would no doubt be surprised to learn that an equivalent phrase is Xander getting “a leg cramp” in a later episode (the one with the dream about the Potentials as cheerleaders). Nothing happy about that, is there?

[292] Some terms are one-off creations and never used again, like the phrase ‘back-arching scenes’.[Note 261]

[293] Sometimes there are words and ideas that are more than a little bit of a puzzle. They break the spell of the story.

[294] It is a shock to see characters do or say things that seem normal to them but would be illegal in Australia. For example, in the NCIS (TV, 2003-) episode (019/119) DEAD MAN TALKING one lead character (a woman) harasses another in the workplace by vilifying the baddie, in both cases on sexual matters. She almost hit the trifecta. In Australia, the NCIS would be held legally liable for the actions of its employees in the workplace. The employer would have previously put each employee through a training course on how to behave so they would know officially what is acceptable and what it not. There would (usually) be counselling for first-time offenders and after that there would be penalties.

[295] Similar shocks arise on coming across the automatic assumptions US lawyers make about when a jury would be guaranteed to be unsympathetic[Note 262]

[296] No doubt shock and surprise flow the other way, like when American visitors to Australia discover that public bars are open to the public and office workers go there for lunch (or Christmas parties, or both). Or that people go swimming in the ocean or that the flora and fauna are different.

Georgia O'Keeffe would probably have something to say about this
em
Bottlebrushes end-on

[297] There is a deeper translation that occurs when watching American shows. Each city and town seems to have the power to make its own laws. You go to a different city and there are different laws. The laws say whether holding hands in public is illegal, or specify how you should park your horse or whether you should feed the animals during mating season or even if you can have an open-air shower like Gabrielle does in one episode. Sometimes the entire plot of movies depends on this difference between one town and another. In Australia the nearest practical equivalent of this legal phenomenon would probably be called “local council by-laws and regulations” rather than fully-fledged laws (which in Australia only originate from the state and federal levels of government through a parliamentary debate process).

[298] TV stations behave like towns in this respect, in what they allow and what they do not. The impression that is created from the TV shows is that these “house-rules” are being upgraded to laws and then that these “laws” are being equated in normal life with morals just like real laws are, which is a paradox because morals are principles which are eternal and unchanging, and the “house-rules” of a town or station are designed to be mutable, to change from time to time and from place to place.

[299] A further paradox arises when you compare your town, which is upright and moral, with another town, which is equally upright and moral yet does things in the complete opposite way (like allowing the holding of hands). How can two different ways both be correct? Where is the moral compass?

[300] Enter Xena and Gabrielle. They embody morality and they do it in a timeless way. “To thine own self be true” could be their shared motto. They have set themselves on a spiritual path and, no matter where they find themselves in the physical world or the afterlife, they hold true to that path. As they develop and grow and change, they remain on that chosen path. You can depend on Gabrielle to be Gabrielle and Xena to be Xena.

[301] You can also depend on them not imposing their path on the other. If Gabrielle had converted Xena to the “Gabrielle way” the series would have ended in the first few minutes of episode one with Gabrielle and trainee-Gabrielle being sold off into slavery at best. If Xena had converted Gabrielle to the “Xena way”, the series would never have developed beyond the first few minutes of episode one with Xena and trainee-Xena remaining in the purpose-less and spiritually empty abyss that is the warrior’s way of destruction for its own sake.

[302] Paradoxically, Xena illustrates the morality of living in modern times by being set in the past.

[303] Xena and Gabrielle exemplify what morality is by holding true to their goals. They also allow each other to develop and grow by not imposing their own timetable on the other but rather just by being there to help if needed (most of the time, anyway). They are holding true to the other’s course. “Holding true” is from the language of love.

[304] In another paradox, the brilliantly plumaged and raucous Xena sprang fully-formed from the creative brow of New Zealand, a place not normally associated with artistic merit (because of all those sheep, you see (joke)). Then Xena disappeared from view while remaining in plain sight. It was all those sheep at the TV station trying to chase the ratings butterflies without realising that best way to attract a butterfly is to stand still and the best way to attract an audience is not to move the timeslot every week.

[305] Admittedly, some good work has come out of New Zealand over the years.

[306] It all depends on what you had when you started.

 

The Founder Effect

[307] Imagine this: you are part of a Survivor-crew on a boat in the middle of the ocean. The captain is petulant, argumentative, foul-mouthed, arbitrary and really really annoying. You all vote him off the ship, putting him in the long boat and giving him the compass so he can navigate his way to the Dutch trading station in Java. You and the rest sail the ship to a South Sea island and live happily ever after (more or less). Later on, that same captain will be appointed Governor of New South Wales and will be found hiding like a coward under his bed during a pay dispute with the local naval regimental corps, but that is another story (and the fact that, owing to the scarcity at the time of metal for coinage, the troopers were paying themselves in rum is another story, too).

Naughty Bligh
Rum Corps newsletter
jamais personne ne m’a parlé comme ça
(no-one ever spoke to me like that before)
[Note 263]

[308] Wherever the Bounty mutineers went, what they brought with them was what they had. In genetics and linguistics this is called the Founder Effect.

[309] When writers get together and contribute to a series, they are limited by their own creative version of the Founder Effect. Who are Xena and Gabrielle? What is Xena about? How can the characters develop in a convincing yet entertaining way? The answers to these questions can only come from the people present at the writers’ meeting.

[310] Having workshops is a good idea because any weaknesses an individual writer may have may be covered by the strengths in the other writers. ‘A story session also helps iron out problems that writers may not even know they have.’[Note 264] But even so, the group may have overall strengths and weaknesses. There is still the luck of the draw.

Cover Founders
MAD
Cover Founders

[311] One way to examine the creative process is to see how much interference there is in it, how much “censorship” in the broad meaning of the term.

[312] Studio-wise, there was barely any censorship, except for a small attempt in THE FURIES (047/301) and maybe one or two other episodes. New Zealand is far enough away in miles and in a different time zone to make constant and minutely detailed interference a chore and impractical.

[313] Station censorship was mostly non-existent (at least in the US) because Xena was a syndicated show. Where there was interference, it apparently revolved around the fear of being human (that is, what was the barely acceptable threshold for bareness).

[314] That leaves self-censorship.

[315] One way of self-censoring is you tailor your account to suit what you think the audience is going to be.

Then, of course, there is self-censorship on the part of the writer, because they know what will sell well with the network, and there are only so many outrageous things one can do at once.[Note 265]
This is based on
a fear of crossing the line –offending advertisers, revenue-sensitive TV executives or, worse, conservative audiences[Note 266]

[316] A possible example of self-censorship is the origin of the name Manly, a Sydney coastal suburb with both oceanic and harbour-side beaches.

[317] Australia is young enough in terms of European settlement that people can write things like ‘In the remote antiquity of sixteen or eighteen years ago’[Note 267] and be absolutely correct. You would expect that the origin of placenames would be known.

[318] Manly Beach on the ocean side is ‘the first of a long pearl string of surfing and swimming beaches’[Note 268] where ‘honey-skinned young women in skimpy tops with classy tattoos’[Note 269] abound. Manly Cove on the harbour side is a little protected sandy place just big enough to hold a ferry wharf and a small netted-off bathing area.

[319] The suburb was named after the cove, which in turn was named by Captain Arthur Phillip on an early exploration trip of the harbour in a rowboat in the summer of 1788. The reason why he called it “Manly” is not definitively known. One version says that the people he met on the beach of the cove were not afraid and held up a hand in greeting and waded out in the water to meet him and his crew. They were Manly in behaviour. The other version says that the people he met were “athletic” in stature and poise. They were Manly in physique.

[320] Having two differing accounts from the same eye-witness indicates there is something else going on and that the real reason for the name is something quite different.[Note 270]

[321] In Xena, positioning the actors, lights and camera is done both to hide and to reveal. The hiding is done to not offend. It is a conscious self-censorship.

[322] Another type of self-censorship involves forgetting.

[323] Seeing the goodbye kiss Xena gave Gabrielle in RETURN OF CALLISTO (029/205) elicited this response from Lucy Lawless in the commentary “(splutter!) (splutter!) What was THAT all about?!” She had completely forgotten about it. This is perfectly understandable. In an avalanche of detail and preparation and exhaustive day-to-day work, who can remember exactly one moment at work years ago when all details seemed equally important at the time?[Note 271]

[324] Another type of self-censorship occurs by not going beyond certain boundaries.

[325] Bruce Campbell, in his book, indirectly alludes to a 1950s feathered cartoon character.[Note 272] It was that passing remark that opened the psychoanalytical possibility that Xena’s skill with her formulaic “neck-pinch”, by which she can quickly “cut off the flow of blood to your brain”, could be read in other, more Freudian, ways. It would not be professional to mention in open text why “helpless and eager” is so strongly correlated with Xena’s interrogation technique

Xena was an expert with the sword and the chakram, a razor-sharp, discus-like weapon, and she was adept at acrobatics, karate, and a two-finger pinch at the neck of enemies that rendered them helpless and eager to give up any information.[Note 273]

[326] All these restrictions on creativity can be picked up at the writer’s workshops.

[327] The real self-censorship is the one that occurs subconsciously, without you or anyone else being aware of it.

Move the Censored sign down and to the right, and it's pre-Mycenean Girls Gone Wild
XWP:MWF
It is not self-censorship if you know you are doing it

[328] ‘All writers are influenced by the events and people in their lives.’[Note 274] Authors struggle, not realising that there is a mental gate literally blocking their thoughts[Note 275] or opening suddenly

the memories of the evening returned and tumbled out of my subconscious. I resisted them as long as could but it was like holding back a flood.[Note 276]

[329] Buffy, because it is set near the modern world, provides clear examples of the “Not allowed” Gate, the “Don’ mix Pleasure and Business” Gate and the “Cynical-Hypocritical” Gate.

[330] It was hilarious seeing and hearing English phrases and gestures as ‘obscenities that aren’t part of the American idiom’[Note 277] being proudly displayed on Buffy while the American ones were suppressed in the usual manner.

[331] It was a mystery in Australia why Buffy fans were so against an episode ‘featuring enchanted beer’[Note 278] when it looked and felt much like any other episode. Then it was revealed that the beer-is-bad plot was a Warning Message by the Anti-Drink people to school children. Rather than demonize beer, it might have been healthier to teach people how to drink it properly and when to stop. Like learning to drive a car.

[332] It was a complete surprise to find that who you are or how much money you have determines whether you are a “goodie” or a “baddie” in normal America. Otherwise why would the Buffy writers bother making the complete opposite point?

In Buffy, an expert or authority figure is judged good or evil by a simple set of standards that have nothing to do with their status or class or birth.[Note 279]

[333] The Xena writers did not have to go through such acrobatic mental gyrations because Xena was one step removed from modern times. And the attitude of a different country, New Zealand, permeated the series. But the writers still had to “agree” on what they could and could not do – ‘sometimes the most vehement would-be censors are the fans themselves’.[Note 280] And the biggest fans of all are the writers.

 

Learning the Ropes

[334] Whether on a sailing ship or on a stage, the apprentice crew-members learn the complex system of ropes and pulleys that make the machine work. Writers also have a system to learn about. In their case it is all in the mind: ‘the team simply sit down and talk’[Note 281]

Joxer's and Meg's
XWP:LDITE
He’ll be showing you the ropes.[Note 282]

[335] The learned sounds that make up the phonetic system of a language are of interest to linguists. The kinship terms that help define the marriage rules of a society are of interest to social anthropologists. Even whalesong seems to form a system transmitted from one generation to the next.[Note 283]

[336] It is obvious that stories and story-telling also form a system but the study of stories is still at a fledgling stage. Not individual tales, which sometimes have extremely detailed analyses done on them, but story-telling as a group activity. We know a bit about the water cycle and the carbon cycle so we know where clouds and leaves come from, but what do we know about the idea cycle and where stories come form?

[337] There are courses for many things but there is no course yet for Story itself. There are courses for writing novels and screen-plays, for film-making and for “reading” a film. Each of these might contain some traditional handed-down recipes for creating a story, but there is no over-all systematic study of what it is that happens when human beings tell each other stories and become ‘completely engrossed in that evening’s flickerings’,[Note 284] whether of the campfire flames in the older days or the television screen in more modern ones.

[338] The nearest thing we have to a Story-ology is a set of cookbook ingredients, a set of story motifs, that we mix together in a certain (usually limited and predictable) way.

[339] For example, take the film The Core (Amiel, 2003), a visual and iconic cross between, on the one hand, Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Levin, 1959; updated version Scott, 2004) and, on the other hand, Fantastic Voyage (Fleischer, 1966), with Hilary Swank playing the Raquel Welch character, Beck. Says a geologist

Along the way, a predictable sequence of characters must die (with their order of demise apparently determined by development, ethnicity, nationality and personality) to ensure that the outrageously attractive protagonists survive to return to the surface.[Note 285]

[340] Some people have noticed ‘Buffy’s tendency to trade on pop-cultural references’[Note 286] and a similar thing happens inside stories generally, with one motif calling up another motif, and there seem to be rules about this. If I said something using recent language like the phrase ‘for yonks’[Note 287] meaning “for years and years” (because yonk = donk = donkey = lives until an extremely ancient age), then the cinematic version of this would be a pop-cultural reference, like when Buffy refers to Giles as her Q, “James Bond, not Star Trek”. If I said, let’s have ‘a quick squizz’,[Note 288] the reference would not be so pop even if you worked it out from the context or knew that Squizzie Taylor was the lookout for a notorious gang of the 1930s. And if I said let’s have ‘a butcher’s at’,[Note 289] there would be no referent at all except for the small number of people who know that “butcher’s hook” rhymes with “look” (another example is the phrase “Use your loaf” where “loaf of bread” rhymes with “head”). Buffy never uses these second and third stage references, for obvious financial reasons, and neither does any other story-telling group.

[341] When a story makes a references to another story, the rule is to go only one-level deep, like a “link” does on a web page.

[342] For example, various people including playwrights have noticed ‘the constructedness of social relationships’.[Note 290] Henrik Ibsen’s The Dollhouse (1879), where people are shown to play roles in society like dolls in a dollhouse, leads to Welcome to the Dollhouse (Solondz, 1996), where students at high school play roles that collectively lead to a horrible experience. This in turn leads to episode one of Buffy, “Welcome to the Hellmouth”, where real horrors attend high school. This is a chain of references that is two levels deep and a Buffy-watcher is not necessarily expected to know about modern European drama.

[343] Laura Egido in a Whoosh! article examines ‘the origins, homages, puns, and references’[Note 291] of Xena episode titles.

[344] The title FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (040/216) one-level deep refers back to Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) a novel on some American literature courses (and apparently about either an old fisherman or a bull-fighter). Going back one extra level we come to an old and famous sermon whose context is well-summarised by lawyer Sir Robert Megarry, a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in central London that, amongst other things, provide vocational guidance for fledgling lawyers. Sir Robert came to Australia once and delivered a keynote speech which concluded with these words

For many, many years it has been the custom to toll the chapel bell at 12.30 p.m. when a bencher has died; and many a barrister at the Inn has then sent his clerk to find out who it is that has been gathered to his fathers. From 1616 to 1622 Dr. John Donne, the eminent poet and divine, was Preacher to Lincoln’s Inn; and I like to think that this office had something to do with famous words from his Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, words that are well fitted to the bonds that link us all together. Let me leave you with these.
”No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”[Note 292]

[345] If we really are all connected to each other, then the moral becomes: “If you do not like it, cheer; it you do like it, cheer louder. No one likes curdled milk. Leave the jeers behind. There is no boundary cutting off one human from another.”

[346] In the Ancient World there was no firm boundary between gods and humans. A god could be a farmer as well as peasant could.

[347] Here is an example of Ares, ex-God of War, and Gabrielle trying to be inconspicuous by imitating ordinary farmfolk.

Inconspicuous farmfolk
XWP:OAHAF
Green Acres is one of the most brilliant shows in television history.[Note 293]

[348] Just as ‘A Southern romance needs a big house, obviously’,[Note 294] certain phrases and speech patterns attach themselves to certain stories

Everybody knows that the dialogue in these things has a certain comic book quality. We instantly recognize the genre because this particular dialogue is not spoken in any other world.[Note 295]

[349] The “languages” men and women speak go along with the stories they tell.

In a male chick flick, men die for each other and a “higher purpose”, ennobled by war and battle, or even sport. In the women’s version, men and women are ennobled by love. Death is optional.[Note 296]

[350] Sometimes the language is clearer if it is set in the past.

[351] What if Xena and her chakram met a warlord today? Because we are now all civilised today, instead of raiding each others tribes and exacting punishment, there would be a lawsuit instead. What would the resulting lawsuit be like? Here is a possible case:

Declaration. That the defendant assault and beat the plaintiff, and with a certain instrument struck him on the head and on other parts of his body, and then dragged and pulled him about and ill-treated him, and threw him on the ground and imprisoned him and caused him to be imprisoned, whereby the plaintiff sustained concussion of the brain and fracture of the hip and other grievous injuries, &c.[Note 297]
Except this was a case where a real lord was suing, not a warlord. (Technical note: ‘imprisoned’ here means ‘was stopped from running away (probably by being sat upon)’.)

[352] The past cannot escape the present. Since the past is always seen from the present, the present always intrudes in stories set in the past.

[353] There are meta-references to the modern world in Xena. For example, in an imagined scene inside an imaginary scene, Gabrielle recreates the iconic poster-promotion shot of the movie Lolita (Kubrick, 1962). The meaning of the reference is a meta-comment on the narrator’s (largely fictitious) account of first meeting a ‘young girl’.

Sometimes, a lollipop ISN'T just a lollipop
XWP:MWF
Crustacea first spots the horrible Hagar

[354] In the actual film itself, the nearest we get to the image on the poster is the lawn scene where Lolita is first seen sunning herself like a mermaid in a fairy tale:

Hi!  I'm a nymphet, and I'll ruin your life if you let me
Lolita
The real Dolores first spots HH

[355] A side-track. Keen lepidopterist and absent-minded novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) is a ‘complex and often tricky book’[Note 298] which not many people would have the patience to peruse. A classic review [Note 299] gives a good summary of this satirical[Note 300] book. Any film made from it can only be a translation[Note 301] and just as the phrase ‘the coast of Bohemia’[Note 302] leads people to think that the Swiss Navy can lay anchor there, a film which looks like it is about an old man and a young girl leads to confusion in all sorts of audiences. Kubrick’s version has the added layer of confusion caused by people misreading his comedic directing style and the censorial straightjacket he was wriggling under. When the story was revealed, there was a rumpus. Towns un-named themselves; publishers un-published editions; disappointed salacious readers demanded refunds. The fracas over the film’s release almost changed film history with its censorial viciousness. Nowadays such responses are more well-orchestrated and better organised in marketing terms, for example when new toys come out.[Note 303]

[356] On a personal note, it was always a puzzle why Peter Sellers did a Woody Allen impersonation in the movie. Then a couple of months ago, in an old episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV, 1999-) fresh to Australia, DECEPTION (068/402), the penny started to drop when Detective Munch described Sherilyn Fenn’s character (a ‘not very good actress’ called Gloria) as “pulling a Woody Allen” when she marries her stepson. My brain, to borrow a phrase from Nabokov, must be coin-operated.

[357] In any case, satire is not children’s fare. Jonathon Swift did not write for the kindergarten; neither did Nabokov.[Note 304] The world of the family is highly political.[Note 305] and stories have to be stories, no matter what the subject matter.

...whatever the subject matter a book still has to transport the reader. Whether or not a book is controversial or innocent is irrelevant: it can’t afford to fail the fundamental test of taking the reader into a convincingly imagined place.[Note 306]

[358] Doing ‘”guileful and guileless”’[Note 307] like Dominique Swain in a recent film version (Lyne, 1996) is difficult. Doing a writer’s story of a (fictitious) narrator’s (mostly made up) account of meeting a young girl of marriageable age yet wanting her to retain her innocence only begins to hint at the intertwining narrative layers. Women in Iran put Lolita on their reading list at real risk to themselves. Why? And why a work of fiction? Something must be shining through: ‘what we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of truth’.[Note 308]

[359] Back in the Xenaverse (Yes, Virginia, there is a Xenaverse), episodes also make internal references, to other aspects or episodes of the show. For example, in the same episode as the Lolita reference, MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (105/515), the camera travels up Gabrielle’s legs and torso while she is mopping up in the kitchen and getting ready for dinner. In the opening credits for every episode, the camera travels up Xena in the same way as she gets ready for battle. Here the meaning of the reference is that Gabrielle is fashioning her life by using Xena’s as a template. The cute irony is that Gabrielle can’t help but let her bright and sunny self shine through (as a young sidekick, she sees the world through rose-coloured glasses, after all – which is where the reference probably came from).

Sidekick does good
XWP:MWF
The bright world of Crustacea

[360] In contrast to Gabrielle’s contented imitation of Xena, Xena herself is a mud-wearing night-cloaked cold-water shadow in a thunderstorm, the very opposite of comfort and contentment.

A mudsuit in the night
XWP: The Debt
The dark world of assassin Xena

[361] In Gabrielle’s bright coral-garden world, besides name-dropping Salvador Dali as a portrait artist, and a musical reference to the BeeGees, and pantomime visual-slapstick references to Saturday Night Fever (Badham, 1977) and Charlie’s Angels (TV, 1976-1981), there is a resonant reference to the “pool guy”.

[362] Ares in ancient Greece, the proverbial milkman in England, the classic pool guy of the 70s, the cable guy of the 80s, even the jungle guides in 40s movies – they all kept the lady of the house occupied (in a torrid Mills and Boon way).

[363] Here is the how the pool guy sees himself in the knock-on-the-head ‘what a weird dream’ episode MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (105/515), a fishy remake of Overboard (Marshall, 1987) about amnesiac mermaid Crustacea who finds herself literally out of her depth being a wife and mother, and initially slimey pretend-husband Hagar who comes clean at the end (if I can phrase it that way). Hagar is describing to the memory-less Crustacea how they first met. He has the opportunity to embellish a few details. In fact, he makes the whole thing up. He paints quite a good picture of himself.

Safety dance!
XWP:MWF
The pool guy (with paint tin)

[364] The pool guy figure is iconic. He can be found in a lot of letters and quite a number of videos. Even a few films, for example the roustabout Perry (played by Chippendale hunk Richard Tyson) in Two Moon Junction (King, 1988), a film about what would happen at Petticoat Junction (TV, 1963-1970) when the carnival train comes to Hooterville town.

I'm hot, I'm stupid, and I'm here for only one night.  Love me!
TMJ
The carny (with biceps)

[365] But wait. Let’s pause here, rewind two or three frames and pause again. April (played by Sherilyn Fenn) has just spotted Perry. And what does she do?

For a change, April takes off her rose-colored glasses
TMJ
April does a Lolita

[366] Uh-oh. There are two lines in the sand here. They are running in parallel. How far do they go? Are we dealing with a homage here? How many dots does it take?

[367] Besides what we’ve already seen, April gets to wear a wedding dress.

I've heard of shooting through gauze, but this is ridiculous
TMJ
Bridal Veil 1

[368] So does Crustacea.

It's a nice day for a white wedding
XWP:MWF
Bridal Veil 2

[369] At the end of the film, there is a wedding ring. April wears hers all steamed up with passion in the motel shower while kissing her carny. The camera zooms in.

Okay, it's a hand with a ring--what can I say about that?
TMJ
Wet Wedding Ring 1

[370] At the end of the episode, Crustacea, now really Gabrielle, having been revived from her near-death drowning and lying on the wharf all wet and steamed up with passion, kisses her rescuer Joxer. The camera zooms in.

Oh, great--another hand with a ring.
XWP:MWF (detail)
Wet Wedding Ring 2

[371] Even the lighting in the barn where April and Perry meet up during the rainstorm and April does her sensual blind-man’s bluff (in the buff) with a veil of wispy curtain is reminiscent of the lighting style of a Xena set. It is almost as if the same crew worked on both, the style is so identical. But that is probably another story for another day.

[372] Trivia note: Melinda Clarke, who played April’s sister Savannah in the sequel Return to Two Moon Junction (Mann, 1994) went on to play ambitious would-be Amazon queen Velasca in Xena.

[373] Just as words have histories and etymologies, it should be possible to construct etymologies for imagery and motifs and trace their influence on each other.

[374] For example, in PARADISE FOUND (081/413) and in Cat-Women of the Moon (Hilton, 1953), there are shared elements. In both films, access to the antagonist’s estate is gained through a cave; in one case in the Himalayas; in the other case in the side of a crater wall on the Moon.

So this is where Atlantis ended up!
CWOTM
The Estate on the Moon

The Lost Horizon of Shangri-La...or something
XWP:PF
The Estate in the Mountains

In both there is a main hall with statues and a marble floor, and there is an overall Indian/Chinese influence.

I thought the moon was made of green cheese
CWOTM
The Main Hall on the Moon

XeKnight to E2
XWP:PF
The Main Hall 2

In both there is a painfully squeezed hand that temporarily breaks an apparently serene hypnotic mental state.

Even the most commonplace scratch is more dramatic in Classic Black and White (tm)
CWOTM
The Hurt Hand 1

Oh, look at the widdle fingers!
XWP:PF
The Hurt Hand 2

In both there is a yoga session witnessed from afar by the protagonist.

Dominatrixes need to exercise, too!
CWOTM
Yoga Session 1

How many warriors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
XWP:PF
Yoga Session 2

More generically, in both there is an emotionally intimate physical contact between the protagonists and one person knows that it is dangerous to be close to the other.

Leg-autographing was a popular date activity in the 1940s and 50s
CWOTM
Notes for a Rocketship

Xena catches a sleeping Gab by surprise
XWP:PF
After a Hard Day’s Night

[375] More distantly still, in both there is the protagonist doing something with strings to their leg. In Xena there is a leg-wound that needs stitching.

Another campfire scene (yawn)
XWP:PF
Leg Stitching

In Cat-Women there are laces that need doing up.

A man about to be sacrificed to the Aztec god Qezacotl performs the ritual shoe-tying
CWOTM
Boot Lacing

[376] It is little wonder that after a while things start to blur and blend together.

Bettie Page had a short career in Ed Wood films
CWOTM
I have the strangest feeling, as though all this has happened before.[Note 309]

Falling for Gabrielle

[377] Falling for Gabrielle, physically and metaphorically, is an occupational hazard for Xena.

[378] In another echo of childhood, in ALTARED STATES (019/119), Gabrielle is thrown down a well and Xena comes tumbling after, just like in the nursery rhyme “Jack and Jill”. By doing so, they give life to another nursery rhyme, “Ding dong dell”, about what could be delicately described as “the cat in the well and the naughty boy”. Xena and Gabrielle spend a large amount of time on the arduous and exhilarating climb back up the well-rope and out to the sunshine and air.

Ding Dong Dell
XWP:AS
we do not live in a Jane Austen novel[Note 310]

[379] From nursery rhymes to theology, Xena switches gears easily from one mode to another.

[380] On the plaster on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome there is a painting by Michelangelo depicting the creation of the universe and everything in it. One famous panel shows the Creator reaching out a hand to, but not quite making contact with, the conscious part of creation, Man, who is likewise reaching out in awakening self-awareness.

[381] In FALLEN ANGEL (091/501), the opening episode of Season Five, Xena and Gabrielle find themselves in the afterlife. After a series of events culminating in a surprise attack from below, Gabrielle is falling from the very heights of Heaven and Xena plunges after her, trying to catch her. Xena almost, but not quite, reaches Gabrielle.

[382] They recreate, for a moment, that iconic reaching out of hands of the Sistine Chapel.

Oops
XWP: Fallen Angel
O fall from what high state of bliss into what woe![Note 311]

[383] Just before it is too late, one of them, Xena, is snatched up and away and Gabrielle continues to fall, ending up in the deepest pits of isolation.

[384] Now something interesting starts to happen.

[385] If you take a pencil and paper and plot the locations of Xena and Gabrielle along the timeline of the episode, you get an intertwining double-spiral pattern.

[386] Xena and Gabrielle start off together, move apart, come closer, swap positions, move apart, come closer again, and are about to swap positions again when Callisto intervenes and the episode ends in readiness for the next episode.

[387] Not only do they swap positions in terms of their physical locations and emotional states, they also swap positions in terms of their plot function, as if they were interchangeable. As if they were equal partners.

[388] Partners in a dance.

[389] Of all the things that make up the show, this is the unique and original contribution of Xena: that the hero of the piece is twinned and, further, that the twinned-hero does the dance of the dolphin.

[390] A New Zealand dolphin of course.

 

Pelorus Jack

[391] Xena falls completely and squarely within the world of poetic choreography, of story ballet.

[392] This is best illustrated by a dance called Pelorus Jack.

[393] Scottish country dancing has, as it turns out, many practical applications. For example, it can be used to illustrate the space navigation technique of a gravity assist [Note 312] and can also explain in an easily understandable way the reason why Jupiter bulges at the sides .[Note 313]

[394] New Zealand is far enough away from the vain fripperies of the glitter machine so that creativity can take place free from care

...New Zealand represented a place where we could be free from studio interference, politics, parties, and misguided ambition.[Note 314]

[395] The opposite side of this coin is that New Zealand is closer to the real world, the world of Pelorus Jack and similar denizens of the deep.

[396] Who was Pelorus?

[397] Pelorus was originally Hannibal’s pilot, guiding ships safely into port. Later his name was applied to an obscure navigational device, the pelorus, that might have involved a compass as one its components.

[398] Later still, a naval exploration ship, the HMS Pelorus (1808), was built. During the Napoleonic era it surveyed and explored the oceans on a five-year mission that contributed much to maritime knowledge. One of it mapping expeditions involved the narrow strait between the north and south islands of New Zealand. The north island of New Zealand is called, appropriately enough, North Island, and the south island, just to be different, is called South Island. The strait between them is Cook Strait after the captain who charted it for the navy.

[399] At one end of the strait, there is a series of sounds, the Marlborough Sounds, one of which, Pelorus Sound, was named after the Pelorus because the ship anchored there during the surveys.

[400] Opposite Pelorus Sound, on the other side of Cook Strait, is a set of sharp rocky reefs and a narrow passageway through them called French Pass. This is the best spot:

Wild and naturally beautiful French Pass and d’Urville Island are the jewel in the crown of the Marlborough Sounds.[Note 315]

[401] The local Maori have their own names for the islands and keep alive the stories of how they were created

Te Aumiti comes from the myth of the formation of the straight [strait] by a great shag (cormorant) named Te-kawau-a-Toru, while the European name comes from the 1827 visit of French explorer Dumont d’Urville. The French Pass also has a place in modern history as the home of the famous dolphin Pelorus Jack. Pelorus Jack accompanied vessels across Admiralty Bay for over two decades up until 1912.[Note 316]

[402] Pelorus Jack (1888-1912) was a dolphin,[Note 317] a rare Risso’s dolphin,[Note 318] ‘Pelorus Jack was the world famous white dolphin, a guardian of the Ngati Kuia tribe.’[Note 319] He was a taniwha,

taniwhas of the deep...’Kaikai-a-waro’ [lit. ‘Food of the Deep’], [who] the pakeha [the white race] called ‘Pelorus Jack.’[Note 320]
He was a guardian:
In Maori myth and tradition whales and dolphins are immortalised, often as Spirit messengers, guides, and kaitiaki or guardians.[Note 321]

[403] The traditional story of Pelorus Jack recounts how

Sailors in the 1800’s dreaded the dangerous French pass off the coast of New Zealand. Here the Pelorus Sound was full of treacherous currents and jagged rocks that were concealed just below the surface. Many ships were lost in this region.[Note 322]

[404] Every New Zealander knows about him [Note 323]

Dolphins have a special place in mythologies from many parts of the world as protectors and friends of humans. Several individual dolphins have become part of New Zealand’s folklore over the past 100 years: from 1888-1912 Pelorus Jack (a Risso’s dolphin) guided ships from Wellington to Nelson;...[Note 324]

[405] For twenty-four years, says a French eco-web page, the inhabitants of Cook Strait had the opportunity of witnessing Pelorus Jack accompanying steam packets. Delighting in leaping out of the water under the gaze of the passengers, he often positioned himself in front of the ship and proceeded to surf the bow wave.[Note 325]

[406] The first encounter with Pelorus Jack involved the hungry crew of a ship trying to navigate the French Pass. The captain’s wife had some advice:

When members of the crew saw the dolphin bobbing up and down in front of the ship, they wanted to kill him – but, fortunately, the captain’s wife was able to talk them out of it. To their amazement, the dolphin then proceeded to guide the ship through the narrow channel.[Note 326]
One stormy morning in 1871 the Brindle, sailing from Boston to Sydney, was having trouble going through the pass when a porpoise leaped out of the water. The men wanted to harpoon it, but the captain’s wife suggested they follow it.[Note 327]

[407] Note that the captain’s wife is not named in the story. ‘and we know nothing more about her’.[Note 328] She functions as an Invisible Woman through her namelessness.

[408] So Pelorus Jack and a ship went across the strait and back again, back and forth, back and forth, over and over again. Sometimes one was leading, sometimes the other.

[409] And the dance? It is a Scottish reel where the lead is taken first by one partner, then by the other, as equals:

[the partners] dance the half reels as one person, but exchange the lead at each corner, the one behind cutting in front of the other[Note 329]
Each time the dancing couple reach the end of the reel, they swap positions so that the other person is leading.[Note 330]

[410] Astronomically, there are a pair of moons orbiting Saturn that do the dance of Pelorus Jack

Janus and Epimetheus do a bit of cosmic gymnastics. Their orbits are so close to each other that every four years one catches the other up and then they do a funny little twirl and swap positions![Note 331]

 

The First Dance

[411] To the daughters of Mnemosyne, ‘dancing is conversation’.[Note 332]

[412] Looking in the Xena mirror, we have seen castles and giants, monsters and gods (sometimes combined together), swords and staves. We have seen princesses ‘She is the most magnificent creature ever to walk the earth. Her smile is daylight itself.’[Note 333]

[413] We have seen action and adventure, chakrams and sais, good hair days and bad hair days, leather and (I almost said lace). Leather and burlap.

[414] The stories breathed life back into childhood memories. They sparkled off and winked at the assumptions about Invisible Women. They were made with devotion in New Zealand.

[415] None of these things matter. In the creative sense, they are all derivative.

[416] In an age where a lot of shows are ‘highly derivative, preternaturally self-aware, hyper-allusive’[Note 334] Xena did bring something extra as well. Xena contributed something creatively original to modern story-telling by having a partnership, a pair of equals, travel along the story arcs. It took a while for the production team to realise what they had. It was a learning process. They eventually cast aside deeply ingrained assumptions and surprised everyone, including themselves.

[417] None of this was visible at the beginning.

[418] At the beginning there was a determined warrior striding over the crest of a hill.

[419] The first sight in Australia of Xena was a magazine cover the year before the first local airing. A leathered warrior striding out of the desert, on a purpose, like in the Road Warrior films that made Mel Gibson famous.

[420] There was expectation in the air. Would it be a spectacular futuristic Road Warrior affair? Would American involvement hobble it or give it rein? Would the New Zealand connection falter and fizzle through lack of economies of scale or would it flourish? What would the series bring? It was a case of “Wait and see”.

[421] Imagination was active in filling in the blanks, of which there were many.

[422] At the same time people were asking similar questions about this new Internet thing. Was it was created by many people[Note 335] or it was invented by a person with the unlikely name of ‘Tim’,[Note 336] which was the same name as the guardian computer in The Tomorrow People (TV, 1973-1979).

[423] How do you connect to the Internet? Was there anything on it about Xena: Warrior Princess?[Note 337] No-one knew that the Internet would become ‘a fact-fiend’s friend, a knowledge-hound’s nose and a trivia-tracker’s dream’[Note 338] or even if it would become anything at all.

Mad Maxine
Sun-Herald
I am a cousin to dragons, and a companion to owls[Note 339]

[424] Many books have been written about Xena: Warrior Princess, and there are many more that could be written.

[425] In this essay we have followed each of the Muses as they danced around the slopes of Mount Helicon and we have touched on a bit of the background context of the story-telling on Xena. The process can be never-ending, stretching all the way back to the memory of the first story.

Where does story begin? There is always context, always an encompassingly greater epic, always something before the described events[Note 340]

[426] It is time to bring this essay to a close, before it gets to ‘the size of an elephant’s bum’[Note 341] and I use up my quota of footnotes (or feetnotes, as some hobbits would say).

[427] This essay has followed some of the threads that make up the Xena tapestry. It has been

a broad, “horizontal” study of numerous examples...to draw together particular kinds of otherwise invisible connections.[Note 342]
We have followed ‘numberless little fibres leading in all directions’[Note 343] briefly examining the fashions of stories to obtain a glimpse of Story herself behind the veils.[Note 344]

[428] Too often have story-tellers been lazy, like historians and other researchers

...those working in the field have tended to stick to the paths cut by those who have already passed the same way...[Note 345]

[429] To slightly paraphrase a quote about art and apply it to Xena:

If we’d tried to tell you ALL of the awfully interesting things that there are to know about [Xena] this book would have been at least as big as a multi-storey car park – and we probably wouldn’t have been able to fit it through the bookshop door.[Note 346]

[430] There is one more thing to mention, and that is the audience participation. ‘It was a good show; the audience made it even better.’[Note 347]

[431] At the end of the episode ALTARED STATES, a family stands under a tree waving good-bye.

Just your average family
XWP:AS
Nuclear family 1

Xena and Gabrielle wave good-bye in return. Whether done intentionally or otherwise, their visual juxtaposition against the family group implies that Xena and Gabrielle (and Argo) are a family too. As the series ended, so it is tempting to think that the story has also ended:
There’s the woman herself, Xena, Warrior Princess. She’s gone now, as is her faithful sidekick Gabrielle who became a woman warrior in her own right before their story ended.[Note 348]
In reality, their story has just begun.

It's not a well known fact that Xena and Gab invented the Wave
XWP:AS
They are gone now, these two, but their story remains.[Note 349]

[432] Xena and Gabrielle have entered into myth.

[433] An unknown bard wrote the following words in the margin of an old book

Words may symbolize objects & ideas, as in ordinary discourse; or they may be identified with the object & become one & the same with it – as in myth.[Note 350]

[434] Myths are timeless. If the series has ended, what is the next stage of the Xena and Gabrielle story?

 

It was catching lightning in a bottle. Every now and then, there is a confluence of things and events that, when they come together, create wonderful things. Xena was one of those things. It was the right product, produced the right way, at the right time for an audience that was looking for it.[Note 351]

Evoking Xena

[435] Xena has joined the passing parade (more a river, really) of able women

Part of the parade of “butt-kickin’ babes” represented by films such as Charlie’s Angels and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (based on the computer game) and prime time television series such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dark Angel, Xena: Warrior Princess and Witchblade, ...[Note 352]

[436] There will be other action-hero templates and they will be part of the imagination upload of future generations of children

In the 1970s it was Wonder Woman, with her magic lasso and bullet-deflecting armbands, who would stride in to rescue the hapless Steve from the latest sticky situation. Young girls in backyards across the country would act out her adventures, no longer content to be helpless princesses waiting for a prince, but demanding to be part of the action, up-front and physical.
Agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), in Alias, is the new-millennium version of Wonder Woman – a leather-clad, karate-kicking, gun-toting modern gal. And she has great wigs.[Note 353]

[437] Hair will still probably continue to have its part to play and there will, for a time, still be stories told by men about invisible girls,[Note 354] but the trend has begun.

[438] Xena has achieved one other thing. It has inspired others, pushed the envelope just that little but further. It is no longer surprising to see women in lead roles in all genres from comedy to drama.

[439] Here is Australian comedian Gabby Millgate posing as Winnebago Xena in a publicity shot for a recent gig.

Everything except the kitchen sink
SH
Gabby Millgate is at it again

[440] On the drama side of the coin, there is Libby Tanner playing Lil, who moved to the country and joined her local Rural Bush Fire Brigade as a volunteer. No one in the audience was surprised to see a woman as lead character.

Female firey
TV Guide
in that dark, roadless country[Note 355]

[441] ‘The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think’[Note 356]

[442] Geographers consider that the Greenland ice sheet, after its initial formation, is now maintained and kept in existence by itself.[Note 357] Story is something similar. Once story colonised the human mind, it is what sustains itself and produces more stories.

[443] The final episode of Xena was set in the flaming town of Higuchi in far away Jappa. Xena had gotten there through a past of listening, listening to snow falling on cedars, listening, as Guterson writes, ‘to pay attention to signs and portents other men had no inkling of’.[Note 358] High on the mountain-side she came to defeat a father-figure demon, Yidoshi, who was eating, breathing in the souls of the villagers ‘like the breath of ghosts’.[Note 359]

[444] At that high point, a chapter closed when the opportunity to bring Xena back to the land of the living was allowed to pass. There was no more Xena story to listen to.

[445] At that point, Gabrielle stopped listening to the story and became the Story.

[446] French novelist Marcel Proust admired art-critic writer John Ruskin, in a way like Gabrielle admired Xena. Up to a point.

there is no greater homage we could pay Proust than to end up passing the same verdict on him as he passed on Ruskin, namely, for all its qualities, his work must eventually prove silly, maniacal, constraining, false and ridiculous to those who spend too long on it:
’To make [reading] into a discipline is to give too large a role to what is only an incitement. Reading is on the threshold of the spiritual life; it can introduce us to it; it does not constitute it.’
Even the finest books deserve to be thrown aside.[Note 360]

[447] So in a similar way, let us cast aside the Xena story and take up a spiritual path and, like Gabrielle, find where it leads us.

[448] And, lo, and behold! Following clues that would delight a LiteraTec (a literature detective) in a Jasper Fforde novel, that path leads us by way of ‘identical twins, shipwrecks’[Note 361] and a Trevor Nunn film to a headland above a very Xena-like wave-laden beach.

The Headland
TN
He was putting on a felonious one-man performance of Twelfth Night[Note 362]

[449] At one end of the beach is the traditional cave from which emerges a shipwreck survivor

The Beach Cave
TN
down to the beach and along the shore to a shallow cave in the headland[Note 363]

[450] who, through a long and complicated plot involving disguises and misunderstandings (there is even an upset apple-cart during an action scene), finds, almost by accident, that in a land of enemies and no-helpers there is someone worthwhile.

Midsummer
TN
You have one who loves you and whom you love yourself.[Note 364]

[451] Coincidences? There are plenty of coincidences in stories, but there is no coincidence in Story.

[452] Nunn produces one film about every ten years. His version of Twelfth Night was filmed, in part, in Cornwall, which is as close as you can get to New Zealand without actually going there (if you live in England). His film would have been well underway long before Xena even started. The two productions, one by Renaissance Film, the other by Renaissance Pictures, might have cross-fertilised each other but it is more likely that they both drew from the same well of Story, so to speak, and out climbed Viola and Olivia on the one hand, and Xena and Gabrielle on the other.

[453] Translation is a fiction. ‘There’s no real accurate translation.’[Note 365] When all is said and done, says Umberto Eco, translation is an act of fidelity by the translator.[Note 366] We can also add, story-telling is an act of faithfulness by the teller to the story that needs to be told.

[454] As we ‘make it to the rainbow on the last page’[Note 367] we can echo the words of Kathryn Morris, who is probably more correct than she perhaps realises, when she suggested that, at the core, there is devotion.

Cover of the DVD
TN
belonging to not one age but to all of them[Note 368]

[455] Devotion is probably the only force in the universe. Devotion does not force itself on anyone.

[456] So season four of Xena showed Gabrielle on a quest for spiritual enlightenment. Whether she is sleeping in a cave, under a tree, or walking by a river, in rain or in shine, she has found her Path and the story that has to be told.[Note 369]

In the words of another song

I know that if I have Heaven there is nothing to desire.
Rain and river, a world of wonder, may be Paradise to me
[Note 370]

[457] The Moon is always full on Xena. But that is another story.

Most wonderfull[Note 371]

 





Notes

Note 1:
Fran Bergman, "About Fan Fiction", in Whoosh! (No 78, June 2003), at par 02, on Melissa Good's portrayal of Xena and Gabrielle.
Link: www.whoosh.org/issue78/bergman1.html
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Note 2:
Ethel Macgeorge, The Life and Reminiscences of Jessie Bond The Old Savoyard as told by herself to Ethel Macgeorge , at c10.
Link: http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/books/bond/chapter01.htm
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Note 3:
Susan Wyndham, "Film pays homage to literary legends": ‘There are no medals for winning a book reviewing competition...’ — The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (4 September 2004), at p10.
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Note 4:
Susan Wyndham, "Film pays homage to literary legends": ‘Most people think fiction is easier to review than non-fiction because it does not require expert knowledge.’ — ibid, at p10.
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Note 5:
Susan Wyndham, "Film pays homage to literary legends", in ibid, at p10, Aviva Tuffield, winner of the 2003 book reviewing competition held by the magazine Australian Book Review.
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Note 6:
Alex McNeil, Total Television: The comprehensive guide to programming from 1948 to the present (4th edition 1996) [Penguin 1996] Xena: Warrior Princess, at p927.
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Note 7:
Megan Gressor, "Revelations for the true buff", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (18 September 2004), at p9.
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Note 8:
Megan Gressor, "Revelations for the true buff": ‘It's illegal to appear naked in public, yet images of nudity have become the wallpaper of our age’ — ibid, at p9.
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Note 9:
Roma Ryan, Orinoco Flow , sung by Enya on her album Watermark (1988).
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Note 10:
An allusion to the title of the sitcom Love, American Style (TV, 1969-1974). One story, LOVE AND THE HAPPY DAYS (story 87, episode 070/322) , spun off into its own series.
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Note 11:
Ethel Macgeorge, The Life and Reminiscences of Jessie Bond The Old Savoyard as told by herself to Ethel Macgeorge , at c1, describing the Gilbert and Sullivan theatrical world.
Link: http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/books/bond/chapter01.htm
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Note 12:
Ron Lackmann, The Encyclopedia of 20th-century American Television (2003) [Checkmark Books] Cagney and Lacey, at p54.
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Note 13:
ibid, at p54.
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Note 14:
Alex McNeil, Total Television: The comprehensive guide to programming from 1948 to the present (4th edition 1996) [Penguin 1996] Cagney and Lacey, at p136, on what started out as "a series in which the two female leads would have a Butch Cassidy-Sundance Kid relationship.".
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Note 15:
‘So if comic-book publishers weren't going to create the defining fantasy of powerful but good superheroines, it would be up to creators a few generations down the road to assimilate feminist attitudes into mainstream culture through the fact that both were so natural to them.’ — Danny Fingeroth, Superman on the Couch: What superheroes really tell us about ourselves and our society (2004) [Continuum 2004] c5 Amazon Grace: Wonder Woman, Xena and Buffy, at p81, on the question, "Were there so few female superheroes who transcended genre because they didn't strike a chord in popular consciousness? Or did they not strike that chord because they did not exist?".
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Note 16:
ibid, at p93.
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Note 17:
Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten (2004) [Hodder and Stoughton 2004] c2 No Place Like Home, at p34.
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Note 18:
Michael A Webster Daniel Kalping, Yoko Mizokami and Paul Duhamel, "Adaptation to natural facial categories", in Nature (No 6982 1 April 2004 vol 428) pp557-561, at p560, describing how one's perception of faces adapts to the average characteristics of faces seen in individual encounters on a day-to-day basis.
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Note 19:
And he mentions it in his book, too ‘Puffy clouds at sunrise transformed into a blanket of rain-spitting thunderheads at call time - by lunch, the rain was sideways.’ — Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor (2001) [LA Weekly Books] c50 Full Circle, at p295.
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Note 20:
Richard Lewis, The Encyclopaedia of Cult Children's TV (2001) [Allison and Busby, London 2001] Zoomer, from Chorlton and the Wheelies (TV, 1976-1979), at p354.
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Note 21:
Justin Jones on drawing the foreshortened figure ‘A systematic approach is necessary when drawing a foreshortened pose. We have a preconceived image of what the body should look like. The distortions caused by foreshortening run counter to this notion. Allow yourself at least twice the time you would need for a normal pose...’ — Diana Constance, An Introduction to Drawing the Nude: Anatomy, Proportion, Balance, Movement, Light, Composition (1994) [New Burlington Books 2004] c8 The Illusion of Space, at p52.
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Note 22:
‘Lines may be regarded as an extension of writing. As we draw, the line envelopes and "describes" the form in a literate and poetic sense, but it stands back from trying to copy nature. When we look for the highlights, middle tones, and shadows on a figure, we are striving towards an approximation of nature, "to draw as we see." Curiously, it is difficult and unnatural to work in this way. In general, people feel happier when they are putting lines around a figure, ...’ — ibid, at p57.
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Note 23:
‘To the Chinese, an artist is also a seal-carver, calligrapher and poet.’ — Pauline Cherrett, An Introduction to Chinese Brush Painting: Technique, Light, Colour, Composition, Style (1994) [New Burlington Books 2004] The Finished Picture: Seals and Calligraphy, at p106.
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Note 24:
ibid, at p108.
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Note 25:
‘Make-up has a part to play too. In an Indian dance-drama called Kathakali, for example, the colour and style of an actor's make-up tells the audience exactly what a character is like.’ — Rachel Wright illustrated by Clive Goddard, Dreadful Drama (The Knowledge series, 2000) [Scholastic 2000] , at p54, like good green, wild black, bravely fierce red or pure white.
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Note 26:
‘Light also has a profound effect on the mood of a drawing.’ — Diana Constance, An Introduction to Drawing the Nude: Anatomy, Proportion, Balance, Movement, Light, Composition (1994) [New Burlington Books 2004] c9 Light, at p56, on the effects of harsh light and soft light on a model.
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Note 27:
K Stoddard Hayes, Xena: Warrior Princess: The Complete Illustrated Companion (2003) [Titan 2003] Hayes, at p82, on the second episode of the well-received Land-of-Chin two-parter, (053/307) THE DEBT, Part II.
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Note 28:
And see Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c35, at p362.
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Note 29:
‘an anagram of Information Superhighway’ — Michael Cox illustrated by Clive Goddard, The Incredible Internet (The Knowledge series, 2002) [Scholastic 2002] , at p56, for the record, the anagram is "enormous hairy pig with fan".
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Note 30:
Compare this remark about a Blake's 7 script where the origins of a character called Verlis are revealed ‘the script also reveals Verlis's full name as Ohnj Verlis, an anagram of 'John Silver' (although the association between the two characters is tenuous at best).’ — Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore, Liberation: The unofficial and unauthorised guide to Blake's 7 (2003) [Telos Publishing 2003] , at p177.
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Note 31:
Michael Cox illustrated by Clive Goddard, The Incredible Internet (The Knowledge series, 2002) [Scholastic 2002] , at p57, for example, SHOUTING, spamming, surfing, ego-surfing and blogging.
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Note 32:
Justine Larbalestier, "A Buffy Confession", in Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp72-84, at p74.
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Note 33:
Michael Cox illustrated by Clive Goddard, The Incredible Internet (The Knowledge series, 2002) [Scholastic 2002] , at p142, on immersion email.
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Note 34:
ibid, at p151, on potential uses of eyescreens.
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Note 35:
John J Craighead and Frank C Craighead Jean Craighead George (illustrations), Hawks, Owls and Wildlife (1956) [Dover 1969] Preface by Ira N Gabrielson, at p vii.
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Note 36:
Jeffrey E F Friedl, Mastering Regular Expressions (2nd edition, 2002) [O'Reilly 2002] Colophon, at p462.
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Note 37:
Greg Harvey, The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies (2003) [Wiley Publishing 2003] , at p189.
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Note 38:
ibid, at p3.
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Note 39:
Kevin Andrew Murphy, "Unseen horrors & shadowy manipulations": ‘so far as the BBC is concerned, science fiction and fantasy shows are children's fare’ — Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp137-151, at p142.
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Note 40:
Jason Hill, "State of Play: Video games are big business in Japan, with fans even dressing up as their favourite characters", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Icon (16 Oct 2004) pp6-7, at p6, Kenji Kiado, producer of Ico.
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Note 41:
David Messer, "The Japanese anime within: Review of Peter Carey's Wrong About Japan", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (20 November 2004), at p9, Comparison of the legendary manga and anime luminary Miyazaki as the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney 'is more a reflection of his popularity than any saccharine qualities'.
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Note 42:
Margaret L Carter, "A world without shrimp": Buffy regularly has to deal with the consequences of an unbalanced world as she patrols the border of the subconscious ‘As in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, an attempt to suppress the negative aspects of humanity only makes them break out more powerfully.’ — Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp176-187, at p181.
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Note 43:
Richard Lewis, The Encyclopaedia of Cult Children's TV (2001) [Allison and Busby, London 2001] Battle of the Planets (TV, 1978), at p47.
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Note 44:
Peter Carey, Wrong About Japan (2004) [Random House 2004] c1, at p2.
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Note 45:
ibid, at p2.
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Note 46:
‘If we cannot perceive a war's truth, standing right in front of it, how can we possibly tell what really took place in the days when most bards believed in war as a glorious adventure and memorialised events with romantic conceit?’ — Erik Durschmied, The Hinges of Battle: How chance and incompetence have changed the face of history (2002) [Coronet Books 2002] Prologue, at p2, describing what he felt like when he found out whose tanks were really taken out during a battle.
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Note 47:
Allison McCracken, "Audiences and the Internet", in Michele Hilmes (ed), The Television History Book (2003) [British Film Institute 2003] pp137-140, at p138.
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Note 48:
Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore, Liberation: The unofficial and unauthorised guide to Blake's 7 (2003) [Telos Publishing 2003] , at p10.
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Note 49:
Kevin Andrew Murphy, "Unseen horrors & shadowy manipulations", in Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp137-151, at p143.
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Note 50:
‘After that, I never liked Miss Smith, and have since been a very poor speler.’ — Jeffrey E F Friedl, Mastering Regular Expressions (2nd edition, 2002) [O'Reilly 2002] , at p12n, describing how fourth grade spelling bee went traumatically wrong when "miss" was not spelled with a capital M.
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Note 51:
Meg Sorensen, "Imagination is the key: Simple stories are fine for kids but no flimsy morality tales please": ‘Picture books are the sacred texts of childhood, not boot camps for smacking kids into the shape of small adults.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (4 September 2004), at p10.
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Note 52:
Meg Sorensen, "Imagination is the key: Simple stories are fine for kids but no flimsy morality tales please", in ibid, at p10.
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Note 53:
Meg Sorensen, "Imagination is the key: Simple stories are fine for kids but no flimsy morality tales please", in ibid, at p10.
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Note 54:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c6 Jane Eyre: A short excursion into the novel, at p66.
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Note 55:
Theresa Tomlinson, The Forest Wife Trilogy (1993-2000) [Corgi 2003] c34 The Return, at p287.
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Note 56:
Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia (early 1300s) [Superbur Classics 2002] The Inferno, 26.108, at p173, Actually, the line is dov'Ercole segno' li suoi riguardi, "where Hercules left his signature", meaning, poetically, the Straits of Gibraltar. Riguardo, an imprint of someone, a trace, an impression, to be looked at a second time (and thought about).
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Note 57:
Freda Warrington, The Sapphire Throne (2000, Book Two of The Jewelfire Trilogy) [Earthlight 2000] c10 Quest and Revelation, at p215, note that Verdanholm means "the green wood".
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Note 58:
Andrew Stevenson, "Mirror, mirror, give us a break", in The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 2004), at p9.
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Note 59:
P J Monahan's illustration for Edgar Rice Burroughs' 4th Martian novel, Thuvia, Maid of Mars in All-Story Weekly, April 1916 issues, reprinted on the cover of the Quiet Vision Publishing 2001 edition.
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Note 60:
Mary Minton, Dark Waters (1995) [Pan Books 1999] c15, at p284.
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Note 61:
Richard Lewis, The Encyclopaedia of Cult Children's TV (2001) [Allison and Busby, London 2001] Battle of the Planets, at p45.
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Note 62:
See Lillian Faderman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A history of lesbian life in twentieth-century America (1991) [Penguin 1992] Introduction, at p6, where the case of having no women in the army was argued on the basis that, if they were allowed in, "naked Amazons and damozels of Lesbos" would apply (and we would not want to have that now, would we?).
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Note 63:
Les Daniels, DC Comics: A Celebration of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes (2003) [Virgin Books 2004] The Amazon Redeemed: Wonder Woman Returns to Her Roots, at p194, Perez, on Wonder Woman.
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Note 64:
George Perez & Will Ryberg, Wonder Woman 24: Combat Zone (1988), DC Comics, 2nd printing unknown date (might be c1990 from some of the ads).
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Note 65:
Mary Minton, The Breathless Summer (1996) [Pan Books 1999] c1, at p13.
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Note 66:
See Les Daniels, DC Comics: A Celebration of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes (2003) [Virgin Books 2004] The Birth of Wonder Woman: A Sister for Super Heroes, at p58.
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Note 67:
ibid, at p60.
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Note 68:
See ibid, at p61.
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Note 69:
Scott Ellis, "Days of Wonder", in The Sun Herald: Television Magazine (07 November 2004), at p10.
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Note 70:
‘Indeed, given the Amazonian-mythological milieu that in many ways echoes Wonder Woman's, one could even say that Xena was an updated or revisited Wonder Woman, this time allowed to give free reign[rein] to the power and anger that the original never could.’ — Danny Fingeroth, Superman on the Couch: What superheroes really tell us about ourselves and our society (2004) [Continuum 2004] c5 Amazon Grace: Wonder Woman, Xena and Buffy, at p93.
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Note 71:
Carol McLean-Carr's cover for Linda McNabb's The Dragon's Apprentice (2002), HarperCollins 2002.
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Note 72:
J H Fletcher, View from the Beach (1999) [HarperCollins 2003] c18, at p312.
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Note 73:
Robin Prichard's dust-jacket cover photo for Sophie Aldred & Mike Tucker's Ace! The Inside Story of the End of an Era (1996), Doctor Who Books 1996. The photo recreates the battle-in-the-school-lab scene from the 25-year anniversary adventure, Remembrance of the Daleks (1989), where a scout dalek had just reported back to control about being in pursuit of a short human female and Ace responded with 'Who are you calling short?!' The baseball bat had previously been exposed to a Time Lord effect and was thus immensely strong and unstoppable. The other credits for the photo are: Make-up by Paige Bell, Costume by Ssh, Ace's belt by Robert Allsopp, Guns by Mike Tucker and [interestingly] Baseball bat loaned by Andrew Beech.
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Note 74:
Matthew Rolston's photo for Rolling Stone 533 (March 1997).
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Note 75:
Yvonne Navarro, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Willow Files Volume 2 (2001) [Pocket Books 2001] Doppelgängland c5, at p137, so said Anya.
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Note 76:
Theresa Tomlinson, The Forest Wife Trilogy (1993-2000) [Corgi 2003] Author's Note, at p469.
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Note 77:
Stephen Knight, Robin Hood: A mythic biography (2003) [Cornell University Press 2003] x, at p151.
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Note 78:
‘Despite the variations, Robin Hood retains some structures of coherence.’ — ibid, at p xiii.
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Note 79:
Theresa Tomlinson, The Forest Wife Trilogy (1993-2000) [Corgi 2003] Author's Note, at p469.
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Note 80:
Stephen Knight, Robin Hood: A mythic biography (2003) [Cornell University Press 2003] x, at p208.
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Note 81:
ibid, at p209.
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Note 82:
Diana McLellan, The Girls: Sappho goes to Hollywood (2001) [LA Weekly Books 2000] Acknowledgments, at p xi.
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Note 83:
Martin Oliver illustrated by Tony Reeve, Groovy Movies (1998) [Hippo (Scholastic) 1998] , at p23.
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Note 84:
Stephen Knight, Robin Hood: A mythic biography (2003) [Cornell University Press 2003] x, at p174.
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Note 85:
‘[Hollywood versions] tended to dominate the following versions and to pressure them into being either pale copies or deliberate, and sometimes forced, rejections of the dominant contemporary image of the hero.’ — ibid, at p151.
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Note 86:
ibid, at p168.
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Note 87:
ibid, at p165.
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Note 88:
ibid, at p164.
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Note 89:
ibid, at p185.
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Note 90:
ibid, at p xi.
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Note 91:
Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee (eds), The Dictionary of National Biography: Founded in 1882 by George Smith, Edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee, From the Earliest Times to 1900, Volume IX, Harris-Hovenden [Oxford University Press] v9 Hood, Robin, at p1152.
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Note 92:
Jeanette L Gibbs, "Lucy Fights Back", in The Sunday Telegraph: TV Guide (25 April - 1 May 2004), at p4.
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Note 93:
Les Daniels, DC Comics: A Celebration of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes (2003) [Virgin Books 2004] Wonder Woman on TV: Progressing by Leaps and Bounds, at p171.
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Note 94:
Kathleen Ragan (ed), Fearless Girls - Wise Women and Beloved Sisters: Heroines from Folktales around the World (1998) [Bantam 1998] Introduction, at p xxvi.
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Note 95:
Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book (2002) [Hodder and Stoughton 2002] c1, at p8.
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Note 96:
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet (1998) [Riverhead Books, New York 2000] c13, at p287.
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Note 97:
Elinor M Brent-Dyer, Eustacia goes to the Chalet School (1929) [Mulberry Editions 1991] c XV Half-Term Begins, at p95.
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Note 98:
Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor (2001) [LA Weekly Books] c47 Suiting Up, at p282.
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Note 99:
‘Sometimes I ask myself if by chance I write novels purely in order to put in hermetic references that are comprehensible only to me. I feel like a painter who, in a landscape, puts among the leaves of the trees — almost invisible — the initials of his beloved. And it does not matter if not even she is able to identify them.’ — Umberto Eco, Mouse or Rat?: Translation as Negotiation (2003) [Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2003] c5 To see things and texts, at p118.
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Note 100:
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1883) , at vol XX p111, cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, sv chakra.
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Note 101:
Stephen Knight, Robin Hood: A mythic biography (2003) [Cornell University Press 2003] x, at pp170-171.
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Note 102:
Deborah Hale, The Wizard's Ward (2004) [Luna 2004] c19, at p287.
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Note 103:
For example, a thorough compendium on superheroes is completely blank when it comes to women ‘No mention of Princess Leia from Star Wars, not even easy targets like Barb Wire or Tank Girl, and not a word on Xena.’ — Danny Fingeroth, Superman on the Couch: What superheroes really tell us about ourselves and our society (2004) [Continuum 2004] c5 Amazon Grace: Wonder Woman, Xena and Buffy, at p92.
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Note 104:
Kenneth Lapatin, Mysteries of the Snake Goddess: Art, desire, and the forging of history (2002) [DaCapo Press 2003] , at p25.
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Note 105:
Jill Ker Conway, A Woman's Education: The Road from Coorain leads to Smith College (2001) [Vintage 2003] c7 The Politics of Women's Educations, at p130.
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Note 106:
ibid, at p123.
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Note 107:
ibid, at p36, redolent of Popery.
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Note 108:
ibid, at p51.
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Note 109:
Philip Pullman, interview by Steve Meacham, "The shed where God died", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (13-14 December 2003).
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Note 110:
ibid, at p114.
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Note 111:
Kathleen Ragan (ed), Fearless Girls - Wise Women and Beloved Sisters: Heroines from Folktales around the World (1998) [Bantam 1998] Introduction, at p xxiii.
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Note 112:
ibid, at p xxiii.
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Note 113:
Wendy Smith, "THE GIRLS: SAPPHO GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: (Review) ": ‘"The Girls" may be slipshod in its methodology and breathless in its prose, but McLellan does give readers a nice sense of a gossipy, inbred world in which homosexual affairs were "exciting secrets" to be relished in private, not just another piece of unduly intimate personal information to be laid out before a public so jaded it can no longer be scandalized.’ — Variety (Oct 9, 2000).
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Note 114:
Wendy Smith, "THE GIRLS: SAPPHO GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: (Review) ", in Variety (Oct 9, 2000).
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Note 115:
‘Although a bit flowery and repetitive, the book's a hoot and a compelling read.’ — Advocate (Dec 5, 2000).
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Note 116:
Wendy Smith, "THE GIRLS: SAPPHO GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: (Review) ", in Variety (Oct 9, 2000).
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Note 117:
Diana McLellan, The Girls: Sappho goes to Hollywood (2001) [LA Weekly Books 2000] Introduction, at p xv.
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Note 118:
Matthew Sweet, Inventing the Victorians (2001) [Faber and Faber 2001] Conclusion: Liberating the Victorians, at p230.
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Note 119:
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1590-1596) [Wordsworth Editions 1999] V.v.2, at p586.
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Note 120:
J R R Tolkien, Sauron Defeated , at p46.
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Note 121:
Says Thursday Next ‘I had never read the end - nor even past page forty. It was that dull.’ — Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten (2004) [Hodder and Stoughton 2004] c44 Final Curtain, at p390.
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Note 122:
Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book (2002) [Hodder and Stoughton 2002] c2, at p26.
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Note 123:
ibid, at p124.
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Note 124:
‘Harington, the first translator of Orlando Furioso, was obliged to disguise the want of moral purpose in his original by insisting-it can hardly be supposed with much sincerity-that all Ariosto's marvellous fictions are to be construed allegorically.’ — W J Courthope, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907-21) Volume III. Renascence and Reformation: Chapter XI. The Poetry of Spenser Section 11. Orlando Furioso.
Link: http://www.bartleby.com/213/1111.html
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Note 125:
‘In Orlando Furioso, there is no progress from point to point towards a well discerned end’ — W J Courthope, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907-21) Volume III. Renascence and Reformation: Chapter XI. The Poetry of Spenser Section 11. Orlando Furioso.
Link: http://www.bartleby.com/213/1111.html
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Note 126:
‘While adopting the form of the romantic epic as the basis of allegory throughout his entire poem, Spenser seems soon to have discovered that he could only travel easily by this path for a short distance.’ — W J Courthope, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907-21) Volume III. Renascence and Reformation: Chapter XI. The Poetry of Spenser Section 12. Allegory in The Faerie Queene.
Link: http://www.bartleby.com/213/1111.html
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Note 127:
‘The attention of the reader is thus withdrawn from the purely ideal figure of the perfect knight, to unriddle, sometimes compliments addressed to great persons at court (e.g. queen Elizabeth, who, as occasion requires, is Gloriana, or Belphoebe, or Britomart; lord Grey, who is Artegall; Sir Walter Ralegh who is Timias), and sometimes invectives against the queen's enemies, in the person of Duessa, who, when she is not Theological Falsehood, is Mary, queen of Scots.’ — W J Courthope, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907-21) Volume III. Renascence and Reformation: Chapter XI. The Poetry of Spenser Section 12. Allegory in The Faerie Queene.
Link: http://www.bartleby.com/213/1111.html
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Note 128:
‘Professed history and obvious fiction cannot be harmonised so as to produce a completely credible effect; and credibility is out of the question when romance itself is proclaimed, as it is by Spenser, to be only symbolical. How, for example, can we believe that the historical prince Arthur ever came to the allegorical house of Pride, or really fought with the abstract personage, Disdain?’ — W J Courthope, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907-21) Volume III. Renascence and Reformation: Chapter XI. The Poetry of Spenser Section 10. Its design.
Link: http://www.bartleby.com/213/1111.html
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Note 129:
Ina Schabert, "Artegall unter Radigund, oder: Der Dichter, der wie eine Frau schreiben muss", in Zentrum zur Erforschung der Fr&uumlaut;hen Neuzeit, Center for Research in Early Modern History, Culture and Science.
Link: http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/ZFN/Geschlechterperspektiven_Buch_Inhalt.htm
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Note 130:
Cahiers Élizabéthains (No 45, April 1994).
Link: http://alor.univ-montp3.fr/CERRA/cahiers.web/CE.CONTENTS/CE.ABSTRACTS/ce.abstracts.45.html
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Note 131:
Cahiers Élizabéthains (No 45, April 1994).
Link: http://alor.univ-montp3.fr/CERRA/cahiers.web/CE.CONTENTS/CE.ABSTRACTS/ce.abstracts.45.html
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Note 132:
Bibliomania sv Radigund.
Link: http://www.bibliomania.com/2/3/174/1128/14941/1/frameset.html
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Note 133:
Criticism: Winter 2000 s4, a brilliant Spenserian essay.
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Note 134:
Cahiers Élizabéthains (No 45, April 1994).
Link: http://alor.univ-montp3.fr/CERRA/cahiers.web/CE.CONTENTS/CE.ABSTRACTS/ce.abstracts.45.html
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Note 135:
Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th edition, 1993) Micropaedia Ready Reference, sv Mnemosyne, at vol 8, p206.
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Note 136:
Michael L Sitko, Great Women Warriors in History, Myth, Legend, and Pop Fiction.
Link: http://www.physics.uc.edu/~sitko/women.html
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Note 137:
Michael L Sitko, Great Women Warriors in History, Myth, Legend, and Pop Fiction.
Link: http://www.physics.uc.edu/~sitko/women.html
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Note 138:
Bibliomania sv Radegonde.
Link: http://www.bibliomania.com/2/3/174/1128/14941/1/frameset.html
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Note 139:
Jeanette L Gibbs, "Lucy Fights Back", in The Sunday Telegraph: TV Guide (25 April - 1 May 2004), at p5, Lucy Lawless being quoted on the documentary "Warrior Women".
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Note 140:
Marcel Proust, A la recherche du temps perdu I: Du cote de chez Swann (1913), Remembrance of Things Past I: Next door to Swann [Gallimard 1988] I.I, at p3.
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Note 141:
Peter Pierce, "Dispatches from the home front: Women's art reflects much about Australian wartime values", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (4 September 2004), at p13.
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Note 142:
Peter Pierce, "Dispatches from the home front: Women's art reflects much about Australian wartime values", in ibid, at p13.
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Note 143:
Annie Rennie, When the Snow Gums Dance (2002) [Pocket Books 2002] c18, at p301.
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Note 144:
Eileen Magnello, "Statistically unlikely: review of Michael Bulmer, Franic Galton: Pioneer of Heredity and Biometry [John Hopkins University Press 2003]": ‘’ — Nature (No 6984 15 April 2004 vol 428), at p699, philosophical ideologies underpin beliefs and convictions and influence ideas of observations.
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Note 145:
Craig Miller, "Green Acres is the Place To Be", in Spectrum (volume 1 number 35, September 2004) pp21-26, at p26.
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Note 146:
Theresa Tomlinson, The Forest Wife Trilogy (1993-2000) [Corgi 2003] Author's Note, at p469.
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Note 147:
ibid, at p469.
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Note 148:
ibid, at p469.
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Note 149:
ibid, at p470.
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Note 150:
John Binns, "Deep Thought - Boys and Girls: Gendered Fandom", in TV Zone (Issue 178 - June 2004) pp42-45, at p44.
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Note 151:
Ruth Ritchie, "Games over": Describing how a particular station ‘reverted to traditional Friday night Euro-porn with The Clitoris - Forbidden Pleasure’ — The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (04 September 2004), at p28.
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Note 152:
Ruth Ritchie, "Blonde invasion", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (18 September 2004), at p28, on Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris) in Cold Case.
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Note 153:
Scott Ellis, "The cold reality of cop shows", in The Sun Herald: Television Magazine (31 October 2004), at p5.
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Note 154:
Scott Ellis, "The cold reality of cop shows", in ibid, at p5.
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Note 155:
Scott Ellis, "The cold reality of cop shows", in ibid, at p5.
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Note 156:
Anita Ganeri illustrated by Mike Phillips, Horrible Geography: Wild Islands (2004) [Scholastic 2004] Incredible Islands, at p22.
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Note 157:
Kjartan Poskitt illustrated by Daniel Postgate, The Gobsmacking Galaxy (The Knowledge Series, 1997) [Scholastic 1997] , at p54.
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Note 158:
Ruth Wajnryb, "New meanings lead to distress": ‘"distress", as in mental anguish, being borrowed and reapplied, rather like a coat of paint, to the world of wood, furniture and do-it-yourself-dom.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (4 September 2004), at p11, distressed: signs of having been artificially aged; mental pain.
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Note 159:
Keith Austin, "Adventures in the land of literature", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (18 September 2004), at p10, on the cover of Jasper Fforde's latest, Something Rotten [Hodder and Stoughton 2004].
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Note 160:
‘The haggling business, which had mainly depended on the horse, became disorganized forthwith. Distress, if not penury, loomed in the distance.’ — Thomas Hardy Edited by Juliet Grindle and Simon Gatrell, Notes by Nancy Barrineua, Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) [Oxford University Press 1998] I.V, at p39, on the consequences of the death of the family breadwinner, Prince the horse.
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Note 161:
ibid, at p35, Tess and her brother discussing a what-if scenario.
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Note 162:
Kjartan Poskitt illustrated by Daniel Postgate, The Gobsmacking Galaxy (The Knowledge Series, 1997) [Scholastic 1997] , at p87, describing some of the things you can do on planet Earth that you cannot do on other planets.
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Note 163:
Megan Gressor, "Revelations for the true buff", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (18 September 2004), at p9.
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Note 164:
Megan Gressor, "Revelations for the true buff", in ibid, at p9.
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Note 165:
Megan Gressor, "Revelations for the true buff": ‘remember how the genitals of the Abu Graib prisoners were airbrushed out of the photographs shown on the media? Torture rates, but penises are beyond the pale’ — ibid, at p9, reviewing Ruth Barcan's Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy(Berg 2004).
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Note 166:
Judy Adamson, The Sydney Morning Herald: The Guide (06 September 2004) , at p18, on Spencer Tunick's Naked World.
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Note 167:
Martha C Nussbaum, Hiding from Humanity: Shame, Disgust, and the Law (2004) [Princeton University Press 2004] , at p303.
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Note 168:
Robin Klein, The Listmaker (1997) [Penguin 1997] c5, at p81.
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Note 169:
Psychology Today (Nov-Dec, 1998) Ventura, the popularity among teenagers of TV shows like 'La Femme Nikita,' 'Xena: Warrior Princess' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'.
Link: FindArticles.com
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Note 170:
David Hughes, Comic Book Movies (2003) [Virgin Film 2003] Hughes, at p180, re X-Men (2000).
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Note 171:
ibid, at p118, re The Phantom (1996).
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Note 172:
Sarah Inbody, "THE LOVING HATE: AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN XENA & ARES & BUFFY & SPIKE": ‘these two shows dealt with complicated love-hate relationships, each between a woman who fights on the side of right and a man, presumed to be a bad guy, obsessed with her from the beginning and constantly trying to stop her do-gooding, then eventually falling in love with her against his better judgment.’ — Whoosh! (Issue 82, October 2003), at par 03.
Link: http://www.whoosh.org/issue82/inbody1.html
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Note 173:
‘But for the most part - with the notable exception of Xena - super-women have boyfriends or husbands’ — Danny Fingeroth, Superman on the Couch: What superheroes really tell us about ourselves and our society (2004) [Continuum 2004] c5 Amazon Grace: Wonder Woman, Xena and Buffy, at p93.
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Note 174:
Nicholas Tucker, Darkness Visible: Inside the World of Philip Pullman (2003) [Wizard Books 2003] , at p107.
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Note 175:
Martha C Nussbaum, Hiding from Humanity: Shame, Disgust, and the Law (2004) [Princeton University Press 2004] , at p360 n49, citing an episode of Married with Children where Marcie and friends stage a breast-feeding sit-in in Al's shoestore to which the "No Ma'am" men respond with a display of naked beer bellies.
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Note 176:
Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the powerful women of Hollywood (1997) [University of California Press 1998] Prologue, at p12.
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Note 177:
ibid, at p444.
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Note 178:
ibid, at p447.
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Note 179:
ibid, at p450.
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Note 180:
ibid, at p153, At the invitation of the novelist for the film Cytherea, a group of people went to the "show" in Angelus Temple and daringly occupied the row reserved for "pregnant women and nursing mothers".
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Note 181:
Martin Oliver illustrated by Tony Reeve, Groovy Movies (1998) [Hippo (Scholastic) 1998] , at p22.
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Note 182:
Rachel Wright illustrated by Clive Goddard, Dreadful Drama (The Knowledge series, 2000) [Scholastic 2000] , at p90, on Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts.
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Note 183:
Ruth Barcan, Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (2004) [Berg 2004] c1, at p29.
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Note 184:
Michelle Griffin, "A hair-razing tale: Some regions are no place for the inexperienced operator", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (16 Oct 2004), at p5, Elizabeth Reid Boyd on teens, Brazilian waxes, and body hair.
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Note 185:
Catherine Blackledge, The Story of V: Opening Pandora's Box (2003) [Phoenix 2004] , at p253.
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Note 186:
Rachel Wright illustrated by Clive Goddard, Dreadful Drama (The Knowledge series, 2000) [Scholastic 2000] , at p78, on when actor Henry Irving was knighted in 1895.
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Note 187:
Transcript of "Warrior...Princess".
Link: http://www.whoosh.org/epguide/trans/115trans.html
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Note 188:
Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor (2001) [LA Weekly Books] c48 Leather and Mace: Acting in a parallel universe, at p286, discussing the Hercules episode MEN IN PINK.
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Note 189:
Tara K Harper, Silver Moons, Black Steel (2001) [Del Rey Ballantine 2001] c16, at p163.
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Note 190:
Nancy Kilpatrick, "Sex and the single slayer", in Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp19-24, at p19.
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Note 191:
Jon Solomon, The Ancient World in the Cinema: Revised edition (2001) [Yale University Press 2001] c3 Calliope: Greek and Roman Mythology, at p123.
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Note 192:
Jim Smith and J Clive Matthews, The Lord of the Rings: The Films, the Books, the Radio Series (2004) [Virgin Books 2004] A Long Expected Party, at p97.
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Note 193:
Stephen Knight, Robin Hood: A mythic biography (2003) [Cornell University Press 2003] x, at p173.
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Note 194:
ibid, at p173.
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Note 195:
Paul Le Petit, "Too far from Camelot", in The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, 18 July 2004), at p116, on King Arthur(Fuque, 2004).
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Note 196:
Jeff Gunn (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), "From Camelot to Spamalot", in The Sydney Morning Herald: 48 Hours (17 July 2004), at p11.
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Note 197:
Johanna Schneller, "Knightley in Shining Armor", in Premiere (June 2004) pp50-55, 124, at p52.
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Note 198:
‘MEET GUINEVERE: Keira Knightley plays her as a butt-kicking, sword-wielding Xena type. Not bad for an actress who confesses she's a lazy cow.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 2004) , at 48Hours, p1, the local teaser par for Kristin Hohenadel's review article in the New York Times, "Keira Knightley plays Guinevere as a butt-kicking, arrow-shooting, horse-riding heroine, writes Kristin Hohenadel", reprinted in the SMH, 19 June 2004, p3.
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Note 199:
Paul Le Petit, "Too far from Camelot", in The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, 18 July 2004), at p116, describing Guinevere (Keira Knightley)'s battle gear.
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Note 200:
Phillip McCarthy, "Knightley shines", in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, 11 July 2004) pp12-13, at p12.
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Note 201:
Ceri Thomas, "Taking the Myth: You don't know the Arthur it...", in Total Film (Issue 92, August 2004) pp70-74, at p74, Penny Rose (costumes) on Keira Knightley's leather battle gear.
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Note 202:
Andy Lowe, "King Arthur: More swords and less sorcery in functional prequel to the well-worn legend", in ibid, at p38.
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Note 203:
Phillip McCarthy, "Knightley shines", in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, 11 July 2004) pp12-13, at p12.
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Note 204:
Ceri Thomas, "Taking the Myth: You don't know the Arthur it...", in Total Film (Issue 92, August 2004) pp70-74, at p74, Keira Knightley on her leathers.
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Note 205:
John G Henry, "Mightier Than the Sword", in Esther M Friesner (ed), Turn the Other Chick (2004) [Baen Books 2004] pp5-17, at p16.
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Note 206:
Ceri Thomas, "A Knightley to Remember", in Total Film (Issue 92, August 2004) pp76-80, at p80, the not particularly well-coordinated but competitive Keira Knightley on if she had fought with the male cast instead of training with them.
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Note 207:
Andy Lowe, "King Arthur: More swords and less sorcery in functional prequel to the well-worn legend", in ibid, at p38.
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Note 208:
Johanna Schneller, "Knightley in Shining Armor", in Premiere (June 2004) pp50-55, 124, at p55, Keira Knightley on the Pictish battle style.
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Note 209:
Angela Gilltrap (commentator), Strictly Dancing: 1st semi-final (06 August 2004).
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Note 210:
Salil Tripathi, "Enraged by Madonna and Nicole", in New Statesman (Sept 20, 1999), Hindus object to the use of a verse from the Bhagavadgita in the motion picture 'Eyes Wide Shut'.
Link: FindArticles.com
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Note 211:
Elana Levine, "Charlie's Angels", in Michele Hilmes (ed), The Television History Book (2003) [British Film Institute 2003] pp92-93, at p92.
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Note 212:
John Binns, "Deep Thought - Boys and Girls: Gendered Fandom", in TV Zone (Issue 178 - June 2004) pp42-45, at p45, on the male percentage points of Charmed.
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Note 213:
Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore, Liberation: The unofficial and unauthorised guide to Blake's 7 (2003) [Telos Publishing 2003] , at p177, on the Blake's 7 (TV 1978-1981) episode ASSASSIN (D7).
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Note 214:
K Stoddard Hayes, Xena: Warrior Princess: The Complete Illustrated Companion (2003) [Titan 2003] Hayes, at p111, on the return-to-the-Land-of-Chin episode (096/506) PURITY.
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Note 215:
Murrell Edmunds, Moon of My Delight: A play in three acts (1960) [Thomas Yoseloff, New York/London 1960] Act Two Scene 1, at p77, singer Nora, in a signed edition, number 391 of 1000, purchased on Ashwood's in York Street, Sydney, on Thursday, 21 October 2004.
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Note 216:
Sandra Hall, "The colour of money", in The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 2004), at 48Hours, p11, reviewing Shrek 2.
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Note 217:
John G Henry, "Mightier Than the Sword", in Esther M Friesner (ed), Turn the Other Chick (2004) [Baen Books 2004] pp5-17, at p9.
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Note 218:
Milan Kundera, L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être (1984), The Unbearable Lightness of Being [Gallimard 1989] 2.26, at p113.
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Note 219:
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1590-1596) [Wordsworth Editions 1999] V.v.3, at p586.
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Note 220:
Tobsha Learner, Tremble (2004) [HarperCollins 2004] "Rainmaker", at p72.
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Note 221:
Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore, Liberation: The unofficial and unauthorised guide to Blake's 7 (2003) [Telos Publishing 2003] , at p10.
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Note 222:
ibid, at p10.
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Note 223:
Richard Clune and Phillip Koch, "Top shows kept off air: Stockpiled for after Olympics", in The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, 25 July 2004), at p29.
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Note 224:
Brian Courtis, "Big ending or burnout?", in The Sun-Herald Television Magazine: 03 October 2004, at p8, on why episodes of even popular series like Buffy and Sex and the City suddenly disappear forever or jump around unpredictably on the airing schedule.
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Note 225:
Paul Spragg, "It's Gating Better All the Time", in Cult Times: Special No 31 September 2004 pp6-9, at p8.
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Note 226:
Paul Spragg, "It's Gating Better All the Time", in ibid, at p8.
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Note 227:
Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor (2001) [LA Weekly Books] c49 Xena: Warrior Spin-Off, at p289.
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Note 228:
Diane Ravitch, The Language Police: How pressure groups restrict what students learn (2003) [Knopf 2003] c8 "Literature: Forgetting the Tradition", at p128.
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Note 229:
Scott Westerfield, "A slayer comes to town", in Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp30-40, at p40 colophon.
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Note 230:
Sandra Hall, "The Confection Errs", in The Sydney Morning Herald: 48 Hours (17 July 2004), at P9.
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Note 231:
Milan Kundera, L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être (1984), The Unbearable Lightness of Being [Gallimard 1989] 2.23, at p105.
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Note 232:
Ruth Park, Fishing in the Styx (1993) [Penguin 1994] Part 3 Chapter 2, at p275.
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Note 233:
Judith Hand, The Amazon and the Warrior (2004) [TOR 2004] c39, at p174.
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Note 234:
Ruth Park, Fishing in the Styx (1993) [Penguin 1994] Part 3 Chapter 2, at p275.
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Note 235:
Michael Cox illustrated by Clive Goddard, The Incredible Internet (The Knowledge series, 2002) [Scholastic 2002] , at p153.
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Note 236:
Anthony Trollope, Harry Heathcote of Gangoil: A Tale of Australian Bush Life (1874) [Dover 1987] c1 Gangoil, at p21.
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Note 237:
Francois Bellec, Unknown Lands: The Log Books of the Great Explorers (2000), Livre de terres inconnues [Hardie Grant Books 2002] , at p119.
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Note 238:
Tobsha Learner, Tremble (2004) [HarperCollins 2004] "Echo", at p111.
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Note 239:
Frederick Sinnett, "The Fiction Fields of Australia", in Journal of Australasia (vol 1, July-December 1856) pp97-105,199-208.
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Note 240:
From the blurb on the back cover ‘"Her weekly radio broadcasts on ABC [Australian Broadcasting Commission] regional radio about life on the station drew a keen audience."’ — Jo Jackson King, The Station at Austin Downs (2004) [ABC Books 2004].
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Note 241:
Jill Ker Conway, A Woman's Education: The Road from Coorain leads to Smith College (2001) [Vintage 2003] c8 Sostenuto, at p141.
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Note 242:
ibid, at p141.
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Note 243:
ibid, at p70.
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Note 244:
ibid, at p127.
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Note 245:
ibid, at p98.
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Note 246:
ibid, at p91.
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Note 247:
ibid, at pp18-19.
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Note 248:
Paul Byrnes, "Trash of the titans": ‘the dramatic purity of the originals, both of which had an unsettling terror born of isolation’ — The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (02 October 2004), at p17, on Alien vs Predator (Anderson, 2004).
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Note 249:
Jill Ker Conway, A Woman's Education: The Road from Coorain leads to Smith College (2001) [Vintage 2003] c1 Choice, at p18.
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Note 250:
ibid, at p4.
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Note 251:
Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book (2002) [Hodder and Stoughton 2002] c1, at p3.
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Note 252:
Alexander Woollcott, While Rome Burns (1934) Our Mrs Park, on Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), American critic and humorist; quoted in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
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Note 253:
Anthony Trollope, Harry Heathcote of Gangoil: A Tale of Australian Bush Life (1874) [Dover 1987] c1 Gangoil, at p14.
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Note 254:
Annie Rennie, When the Snow Gums Dance (2002) [Pocket Books 2002] c5, at p53.
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Note 255:
Michael Adams, Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon (2003) [Oxford University Press 2003] Adams, at pp114, 120.
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Note 256:
David Hughes, Comic Book Movies (2003) [Virgin Film 2003] Hughes, at p233.
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Note 257:
ibid, at p3.
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Note 258:
Jill Ker Conway, A Woman's Education: The Road from Coorain leads to Smith College (2001) [Vintage 2003] c2 Beside Paradise, at p35.
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Note 259:
ibid, at p29.
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Note 260:
Michael Adams, Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon (2003) [Oxford University Press 2003] Adams, at p105.
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Note 261:
Doug Anderson, "Movies", in The Sydney Morning Herald: The Guide ((19 July 2004)) pp10-20, at p20, on Basic Instinct (1992).
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Note 262:
‘..if the jury is for some reason unsympathetic to the defendant: for example, if a black male defendant appears before a predominantly white jury for a crime committed against a white woman.’ — Martha C Nussbaum, Hiding from Humanity: Shame, Disgust, and the Law (2004) [Princeton University Press 2004] c3 Disgust and the Law, at p165, This is a surprising statement. Why would the jury be sympathetic or unsympathetic in the first place? After all, apartheid is not official current law in the US like it was in South Africa for a time.
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Note 263:
Régine Deforges, Le Cahier Volé , at p27, or more literally, "no-one had ever spoken to me like that".
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Note 264:
Sharon Gosling (ed), Stargate SG-1: The Essential Scripts (2004) [Titan Books 2004] How to write for Stargate SG-1, at p10, for example, continuity: "A writer has more chance of getting it right with five minds remembering past events than with one.".
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Note 265:
Kevin Andrew Murphy, "Unseen horrors & shadowy manipulations", in Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp137-151, at p140.
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Note 266:
Michael Idato, "Wit hunt: Finding the right comedy formula is no laughing matter", in The Sydney Morning Herald: The Guide ((19 July 2004)), at p3, on why self-censorship is a natural consequence when comedy-show development meets commercial television.
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Note 267:
Frederick Sinnett, "The Fiction Fields of Australia", in Journal of Australasia (vol 1, July-December 1856) pp97-105,199-208.
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Note 268:
Mark and Alice , describing Manly Beach.
Link: http://www.beluba.com.au/ww3/states/sydney.htm
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Note 269:
Rob Ainsley , describing modern Manly.
Link: http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Harbor/7128/d204manly.html
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Note 270:
One reconstruction of what actually happened might go something like this. Imagine you are at the beach having a picnic with your family and friends on a hot day in what will become known as January. The children are playing in the sand. You and a couple of the others might be fishing for sting-rays in the shallows. Drifting across the quiet waters comes the sound of voices speaking a strange language. A little boat appears around the tip of the headland. The boat is full of six men wearing smooth bark, and maybe fur, and bits of feathers and little stones tied with strings. They wear something on their heads that could be dried seaweed. What they are saying is unknown - "We could put a road on that ridge up there..." "Whoa!" "Look at that!" "They're completely..." "Manly." "They certainly are, all right!" "We can't name this place after the first thing we saw. We'd have to call it..." "Manly." "Careful! They're coming towards us!" "Don't stare! It's rude." "What are we going to say?" "French, are you writing this down?" "Yes, sir!" "Well, don't!" "Stop gawking!" "I can't get over how big.." "Manly." "..they are!" "French! I said stop writing this d-".
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Note 271:
Something similar happened to me recently during the writing of this essay. I was browsing Amazon for Xena-related tie-ins when I came across a review of Desperate Remedies. It was a bit wordy but the reviewer was basically saying things about the film that I more or less agreed with. About two minutes later, I realised that the reviewer was me. I had completely forgotten about submitting it.
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Note 272:
‘With the success of Hercules, a new show came into being. Lucy Lawless, a Kiwi actress, appeared in a three-episode arc and the Universal executives took notice. I'd say they got a woody for her, but that would be unprofessional.’ — Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor (2001) [LA Weekly Books] c49 Xena: Warrior Spin-Off, at p289.
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Note 273:
Ron Lackmann, The Encyclopedia of 20th-century American Television (2003) [Checkmark Books] Xena: Warrior Princess, at p400.
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Note 274:
J H Fletcher, View from the Beach (1999) [HarperCollins 2003] c17, at p307.
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Note 275:
Catherine Keenan, "up close - Emily Maguire: Confessions of a nice girl": ‘It [the novel Taming the Beast] is necessarily explicit, and this was the hardest part of writing the book. "I felt this pull to censor myself, to be 'nice'. I kept freaking myself out with how sexual it was. And I thought, 'That's so dumb!'" She didn't understand where these feelings came from ... started writing her thoughts down ... and pretty soon she'd figured out what the problem was: nice girls weren't meant to be interested in sex.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 2004), at p3, interviewing Emily Maguire, author of Taming the Beast[Brandl & Schlesinge, 'a tiny firm in Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains'], a story 'about people who choose to be in a relationship that is destructive'.
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Note 276:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c5 Search for the guilty, punish the innocent, at pp45-46.
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Note 277:
Kevin Andrew Murphy, "Unseen horrors & shadowy manipulations", in Glenn Yeffeth (ed), Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science fiction and fantasy authors discuss their favorite television show (2003) [Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas 2003] pp137-151, at p141.
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Note 278:
Kevin Andrew Murphy, "Unseen horrors & shadowy manipulations", in ibid, at p143.
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Note 279:
David Brin, "Buffy vs. the old-fashioned "hero"", in ibid, at p2.
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Note 280:
Kevin Andrew Murphy, "Unseen horrors & shadowy manipulations", in ibid, at p144.
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Note 281:
Sharon Gosling (ed), Stargate SG-1: The Essential Scripts (2004) [Titan Books 2004] How to write for Stargate SG-1, at p9.
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Note 282:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c12 SpecOps 27: The Literary Detectives, at p132.
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Note 283:
M Wahlberg, "Whales with a nose for culture: review of Hal Whitehead, Sperm Whales: Social Evolution in the Ocean [University of Chicago press 2003]": ‘Sympatric groups of sperm whales have different coda repertoires, and these, along with other behavioural differences, seem to be culturally transmitted between generations.’ — Nature (No 6984 15 April 2004 vol 428), at p698.
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Note 284:
Michael Cox illustrated by Philip Reeve, Awful Art (1997) [Hippo (Scholastic) 1997] , at p11.
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Note 285:
Quentin Williams: review of Shun-ichiro Karato's The Dynamic Structure of the Deep Earth: An Interdisciplinary Approach [Princeton University Press 2003]", in Nature (volume 426, 20 November 2003), at p231, beginning his review by offering a plot summary of The Core (Amiel, 2003) as an example of 'Hollywood's formulaic prosaism'.
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Note 286:
Michael Adams, Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon (2003) [Oxford University Press 2003] Adams, at p73.
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Note 287:
Michael Cox illustrated by Clive Goddard, The Incredible Internet (The Knowledge series, 2002) [Scholastic 2002] , at pp61, 94, on the inventor of Soccernet, 12-year-old Tom Hadfield in 1994.
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Note 288:
ibid, at p162.
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Note 289:
ibid, at pp55,79,162, butcher's = butcher's hook = look.
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Note 290:
Ruth Barcan, Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (2004) [Berg 2004] c1, at p23.
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Note 291:
Laura Egido, "TITLES OF XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS", in Whoosh! (Issue 78, June 2003), at par 01.
Link: http://www.whoosh.org/issue78/egido1.html
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Note 292:
Sir Robert Megarry PC, "Temptations of the Bench", in Australian Law Journal (vol 54, 1980) pp61-67, at p67, describing the customs on the Inns of Court in London.
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Note 293:
Craig Miller, "Green Acres is the Place To Be", in Spectrum (volume 1 number 35, September 2004) pp21-26, at p21.
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Note 294:
Paul Byrnes, "Caught in a downpour", in Re The Notebook (Cassavetes, 2004) The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (16 Oct 2004), at p17.
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Note 295:
Ruth Ritchie, "Universal appeal", in On The 4400 (TV, 2004), an Australian reviewer had this to say ibid, at p28.
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Note 296:
Paul Byrnes, "Caught in a downpour", in ibid, at p17.
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Note 297:
A case about whether a fight in Naples between two Englishmen could have legal standing in an English court as a case for trespass against the person (that is, civil assault and battery and false imprisonment, meaning he got sat on) even though there was a case pending before the Chiaja Court in the Kingdom of Naples, see Scott v Lord Seymour (28 May 1862); the case citation in a user-friendly non-legal format is, English Reports (Exchequer Division), vol 158, p865, at p866; the nominate report is Hurlstone and Coltman vol 1 p219, at pp219-220.
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Note 298:
Jeff Edmunds, 'Lolita': Complex, often tricky and 'a hard sell'.
Link: www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/books/1999/nabokov/lolita.sociological.essay/
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Note 299:
Charles Rolo, Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov: A review (The Atlantic Monthly, September 1958)
Link: http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/classrev/lolita.htm
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Note 300:
Sam Schuman, On the Road to Canterbury, Liliput and Elphinstone - The Rough Guide: Satiric Travel Narratives in Chaucer, Swift and Nabokov
Link: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/schuman.htm
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Note 301:
‘I would never claim that we are filming Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. I would say only that we are attempting to translate into a kind of exciting sign language--the language of film--what one of the century's greatest masters of prose rendered so incomparably on the page.’ — Suellen Stringer-Hye, An Interview with Stephen Schiff.
Link: http"//www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/schiff1.htm
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Note 302:
Brian Boyd, "Even Homais Nods": Nabokov's Fallibility, or, How to Revise Lolita.
Link: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/boyd1.htm
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Note 303:
Jon Casimir, "Terror from toy town": ‘I'm not saying the effects of youth culture should not be debated. But we don't have debates, we have ritualised debates. And in the end, they draw attention away from real, underlying issues that need addressing.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (17 July 2004) pp6-7, at p7, on how 'the world's larger conglomerates [are] now packaging and selling us fear of their own products'.
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Note 304:
Sandra Hall, "The colour of money": ‘The fact that these jokes [Romeo Drive, Farbucks, etc] will sail past most Australian nine-year-old heads need not bother anyone. It's 30 years since children's films stopped being just for children.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 2004), at p11, on Shrek 2.
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Note 305:
Andrew Stevenson, "Mirror, mirror, give us a break": ‘Anyone who thinks representations of the family in popular culture aren't inherently political obviously missed the hullaballoo over Play School's storyline about two girls with two mums. Conservative politicians went red in the face. National Party leader John Anderson asked if Mark Latham would read the storyline to his kids. "I doubt he would. I think he'd feel uncomfortable," said Anderson, who's obviously never tried Snow White with a stepmum in sight.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 2004), at p9, on Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and Snow White.
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Note 306:
Debra Adelaide, "Innocence arrested by masterful means: Review of Emily Maguire's novel Taming the Beast (2004)", in ibid, at p11, On a novel 'concerning female sexual experience compounded by pedophilia and sado-masochism'. Debra teaches fiction writing at UTS (University of Technology, Sydney).
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Note 307:
Bob Thompson, The girl's got guts , quoting unnamed reviews of her Lolita role with 'dinosaur' Irons.
Link: http://www.chl.ca/JamMoviesArtistsS/swain_dominique.html
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Note 308:
Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (2003) [Hodder 2003] c1, at p3.
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Note 309:
Transcript of "Cat-Women of the Moon" , Helen Salinger, Navigator on Moon Rocket 4.
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Note 310:
Ruth Ritchie, "Desperate times", in The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (02 October 2004), at p28.
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Note 311:
Paradise Lost Book V.
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Note 312:
Kjartan Poskitt illustrated by Daniel Postgate, The Gobsmacking Galaxy (The Knowledge Series, 1997) [Scholastic 1997] , at pp67-68, on how Scottish country dancing can illustrate the principle of "gravity assist" in spaceflight.
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Note 313:
‘like a Scotsman doing a twirl in his kilt’ — ibid, at p105, on why Jupiter bulges out at the sides.
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Note 314:
Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor (2001) [LA Weekly Books] c50 Full Circle, at p296.
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Note 315:
Danny and Lyn Boulton, French Pass Seafaris and Beach Villas: The Maori & European name for French Pass.
Link: http://www.seasafaris.co.nz/about.html
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Note 316:
Danny and Lyn Boulton, French Pass Seafaris and Beach Villas: The Maori & European name for French Pass.
Link: http://www.seasafaris.co.nz/about.html
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Note 317:
‘Pelorus Jack byl delfín.’ — Delfíní náklonnost cloveku, Famous dolphins.
Link: http://hackman.yachting.cz/ziv_84.htm
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Note 318:
‘claimed to be a male Risso's dolphin which frequented French Pass in the Marlboroough [Marlborough] Sounds of New Zealand in the early part of this century’ — Diving Center Pongo: Cases of sociable dolphins in modern times.
Link: http://www.dcpongo.com/ecoen.htm
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Note 319:
Pelorus.
Link: http://www.jadeandbone.co.nz/pelor.html
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Note 320:
Cetacean Nonfiction Bibliography.
Link: http://www.physics.helsinki.fi/whale/literature/nfiction.html
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Note 321:
Pelorus.
Link: http://www.jadeandbone.co.nz/pelor.html
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Note 322:
Lessons From Nature: The Pelorus Porpoise.
Link: http://www.mow.org.za/nature.htm
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Note 323:
‘Iedere Nieuw-Zeelander kent de dolfijnen Pelorus Jack en Opo.’ — Zwemmen met dolfijnen.
Link: http://www.nieuwzeelandplein.nl/reisverslag-detail.asp?Id=4
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Note 324:
Department of Conservation - Dolphin Diversity: Dolphin mythology.
Link: http://www.doc.govt.nz/Conservation/001~Plants-and-Animals/003~Marine-Mammals/Dolphins/index.asp
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Note 325:
‘Pendant 24 ans, les habitants du détroit de Cook en Nouvelle-Zélande, ont eu la chance de voir le dauphin Pelorus Jack accompagner les gros paquebots. Il aimait faire des bonds hors de l'eau sous les regards des passagers des paquebots, il s'installait souvent au devant du navire et se mettait à faire du surf sur la vague d'étrave.’ — QUELQUES DAUPHINS CELEBRES: L'histoire de PELORUS JACK.
Link: http://dauphins.artisium.com/dauphin_cel.htm
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Note 326:
Phoenix Bookshelf , quoting from John Robbins, Diet For A New America, a book about the impact of food choices.
Link: http://www.river-phoenix.org/bookshelf/newamerica/section1/
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Note 327:
Lessons From Nature: The Pelorus Porpoise.
Link: http://www.mow.org.za/nature.htm
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Note 328:
Kathleen Ragan (ed), Fearless Girls - Wise Women and Beloved Sisters: Heroines from Folktales around the World (1998) [Bantam 1998] My Jon's Soul, at p47, from Matthias Jochumsson (d1920), collected in Jacqueline Simpson's Icelandic Folktales and Legends, p196.
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Note 329:
MADISON SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCERS: Dance Card (Valentine's Dance Party, Saturday, February 15, 2003, 1:00 p.m.).
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Note 330:
Scottish Country Dance technique: Figures.
Link: http://www.scottishdance.net/scd/technique/Figures.html
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Note 331:
Kjartan Poskitt illustrated by Daniel Postgate, The Gobsmacking Galaxy (The Knowledge Series, 1997) [Scholastic 1997] , at p111.
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Note 332:
Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book (2002) [Hodder and Stoughton 2002] c8, at p99.
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Note 333:
Transcript of "Warrior...Princess".
Link: http://www.whoosh.org/epguide/trans/115trans.html
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Note 334:
Chris Turner, Planet Simpson (2004) [Ebury Press 2004] c1, at p64.
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Note 335:
‘created by lots if people doing lots of thinking, experimenting and chinwagging over a long period of time’ — Michael Cox illustrated by Clive Goddard, The Incredible Internet (The Knowledge series, 2002) [Scholastic 2002] , at p15.
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Note 336:
ibid, at p41.
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Note 337:
Lisa Parks, "US Television Abroad: Exporting Culture": ‘These websites not only serve as marketing tools and spaces of impassioned fandom, but in some cases they also facilitate transnational dialogues about the impact of US television abroad.’ — Michele Hilmes (ed), The Television History Book (2003) [British Film Institute 2003] pp115-118, at p118.
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Note 338:
Michael Cox illustrated by Clive Goddard, The Incredible Internet (The Knowledge series, 2002) [Scholastic 2002] , at p171, on the Internet.
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Note 339:
Job , at c30, v29.
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Note 340:
Iain M Banks, The Algebraist (2004) [Orbit 2004] Prologue, at p ix.
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Note 341:
Rachel Wright illustrated by Clive Goddard, Dreadful Drama (The Knowledge series, 2000) [Scholastic 2000] , at p9.
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Note 342:
Ruth Barcan, Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (2004) [Berg 2004] Introduction, at p6.
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Note 343:
Frederick Sinnett, "The Fiction Fields of Australia", in Journal of Australasia (vol 1, July-December 1856) pp97-105,199-208.
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Note 344:
Frederick Sinnett, "The Fiction Fields of Australia": ‘Man can do no more without works of fiction than he can do without clothing, and, indeed, not so well; for, where climate is propitious, and manners simple, people often manage to loiter down the road of life without any of the "lendings" that Lear cast away from him; yet, nevertheless, with nothing between the blue heaven and their polished skins, they will gather in a circle round some dusky orator or vocalist, as his imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, to the entertainment and elevation of his hearers. To amend our first proposition, then, works of fiction being more necessary, and universally disseminated, than clothing, they still resemble clothing in this, that they take different shapes and fashions in different ages.’ — Journal of Australasia (vol 1, July-December 1856) pp97-105,199-208, at p97.
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Note 345:
Matthew Sweet, Inventing the Victorians (2001) [Faber and Faber 2001] Conclusion: Liberating the Victorians, at p230.
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Note 346:
Michael Cox illustrated by Philip Reeve, Awful Art (1997) [Hippo (Scholastic) 1997] , at pp8-9.
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Note 347:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c18 Landen again, at p179.
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Note 348:
Esther M Friesner, "Introduction", in Esther M pp1-4 (ed), Turn the Other Chick (2004) [Baen Books 2004] Friesner, at p1.
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Note 349:
Cecilia Dart-Thornton, The Iron Tree: The Crowthistle Chronicle Book I (2004) [Pan Macmillan Australia 2004] Prologue, at p2.
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Note 350:
Ernst Cassirer, Language and Myth (1946) , translated by Susanne K Langer [Dover] , at end flyleaf, written in biro in a second-hand copy once owned by Nansi Swayze and bought second-hand in May 2004.
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Note 351:
Amy Murphy, "INSIDE THE HEAD OF STEVEN L. SEARS: PART TWO", in Whoosh! (No 84, December 2003).
Link: http://www.whoosh.org/issue84/isears7.html
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Note 352:
Carol A Stabile Mark Harrison, Prime Time Animation: Television animation and American culture (2003) [Routledge 2003] Fuqua, at p207.
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Note 353:
Justine Ferrari, "Pick of the week: Alias", in The Sunday Telegraph TV Guide (Sydney, New South Wales, 27 June - 3 July 2004), at p3.
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Note 354:
S F Said, "To infinity and beyond": In an article originally in the London Telegraph, writer-director Brad Bird describes his inspiration for the daughter in The Incredibles ‘Teenage girls are often insecure about themselves, so I made her strength invisibility, because I think a lot of them wish they were.’ — The Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum (11 December 2004), at p4.
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Note 355:
Ruth Park, Fishing in the Styx (1993) [Penguin 1994] Part 3 Chapter 1, at p267.
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Note 356:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c20 Dr Runcible Spoon, at p206.
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Note 357:
Quirin Schiermeier, "A rising tide": ‘"The [Greenland] ice is there because it has always been there since the end of the last ice age," agrees Huybrechts. "If it had melted at some point in the past 15,000 years it would not have come back."’ — Nature (No 6979 11 March 2004 vol 428) pp114-115, at p115.
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Note 358:
David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars (1995) [Vintage Books 1995] c18, at p263.
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Note 359:
ibid, at p170, inventing a new wordfor a type of ethereal snow.
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Note 360:
Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997) [Picador 1997] c9 How to put books down, at p215.
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Note 361:
Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book (2002) [Hodder and Stoughton 2002] c5, at p53.
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Note 362:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c12 SpecOps 27: The Literary Detectives, at p134.
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Note 363:
Kathleen Ragan (ed), Fearless Girls - Wise Women and Beloved Sisters: Heroines from Folktales around the World (1998) [Bantam 1998] Rau-Whato, at p270, citing the Maori story of Rau-Whato's escape from the giants. The source text is A W Reed's Treasury of Maori Folklore (1963), p457.
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Note 364:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c34 Nearly the end of their book, at p346, Mr Rochester of Jane Eyre's advice to the heroine, Thursday Next.
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Note 365:
: Painting from the Soul", in Spectrum (volume 1 number 35, September 2004) pp26-37, at p34.
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Note 366:
‘Faithfulness is not a method which results in an acceptable translation. It is the decision to believe that translation is possible, it is our engagement in isolating what is for us the deep sense of a text, and it is the goodwill that prods us to negotiate the best solution for every line. Among the synonyms of faithfulness the word exactitude does not exist. Instead there is loyalty, devotion, allegiance, piety.’ — Umberto Eco, Mouse or Rat?: Translation as Negotiation (2003) [Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2003] c8 A conclusion on perfect language and colours, at p192.
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Note 367:
Andrew Stevenson, "Mirror, mirror, give us a break", in The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 2004), at p9.
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Note 368:
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (2001) [Hodder and Stoughton 2001] c1 A woman named Thursday Next, at p2.
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Note 369:
Compare the closing remark of Fforde's latest chapter in his Ariosto-Spenserian saga, where the heroine, Thursday Next, says to her now completely un-eradicated husband ‘'If I'm with you,' I told him tenderly, 'SmileyBurger is the Ritz.'’ — Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten (2004) [Hodder and Stoughton 2004] c44 Final Curtain, at p393.
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Note 370:
Roma Ryan, China Roses , sung by Enya on her album The Memory of Trees (1995).
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Note 371:
Twelfth Night , Olivia, on first seeing two "Sebastians".
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References





Biography

Edward Mazzeri Edward Mazzeri
Besides collecting Estonian fan made Xena wallpapers and being able to remember that 99 had great boots in Get Smart (TV, 1965-1970) - never found out her name, though - I like looking out the window and collecting footnotes as they drift past. Some of them like to escape now and then and some have been misplaced, but most of them are there. Luckily the directors and writers and actors chose not to over-analyze too much and had fun instead. The collective subconscious did the rest. Just realised that Jack's sidekick Jill, and Xena's sidekick Gabrielle, both have a propensity for healing...
Favourite episode: A DAY IN THE LIFE.
Favourite psychologist: Jung, though Xena can get very Freudian.
Favourite linking director: seems to be Fleischer; he's everywhere.
Favourite unseen movie: Saffo.
Favourite Athena: Paris Jefferson. We'll always have Paris.

 

 

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