Whoosh! Issue 38 - November 1999


Understanding Xena and Gabrielle through the Sirens Myth



Notes

Note 1:
Edith Hamilton: Mythology; Little, Brown and Company, 1942, p. 48
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Note 2:
Ibid., p. 309-310.
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Note 3:
Ibid., p. 139.
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Note 4:
National Organization for Victim Assistance: Overview of Crisis Response; U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, 1998, see "Maslow's Basic Hierarchy of Human Needs," and the section, "Creating a Healthy Growth Equilibrium," in general. (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/infores/crt/chap1.htm)
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Note 5:
Ibid.. "[Cognitive functioning] is not included in Maslow's hierarchy and may be perceived as a part of safety needs but seems to emerge as a distinct need in response to crisis. The sense of safety and security must be established so that emotional turmoil can be defused. Only then can individuals begin to organize thoughts and emotions. Cognitive functioning includes the ability to maintain everyday life, the capacity to establish daily goals, and to understand those goals as well as what is needed to accomplish those goals."
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Note 6:
In The Debt II (53/307), Lao Ma directed Xena to serve her enemy. Being an enemy and being an attentive servant are opposites. (The Debt II 53-307) >From the Whoosh! transcript:

LM: "The entire world is driven by a will-- blind and ruthless. In order to transcend the limitations of that world, you need to stop willing-- stop desiring-- stop hating."

X: "How do I do that?"

LM: "Heaven endures-- and the Earth lasts a long time, because they do not live for themselves. Therefore, she would live a long time-- should live for others-- serve others."

In The Debt (52/306), after defeating Xena, Lao Ma whispers wisdom paralleling the Sirens myth:

"Fill yourself with desire and see only illusion. Empty yourself of desire and understand the great mystery of things."

Similarly, from The Tao Teh Ching, by Lao Tzu [Note 7] (Tam C. Gibbs: Lao-Tzu: "My Words are Very Easy to Understand"; North Atlantic Books, 1981, p. 53, 135, 140):

From Chapter 12:
"The five colors cause man's eyes to be blinded. The five tones cause man's ears to be deafened. The five flavors cause man's palate to be cloyed. Racing about on horseback and hunting cause man's mind to be maddened."

From Chapter 39:
".. the honorable takes the humble as its trunk. The high takes the low as its foundation. That is why officials call themselves the lonely, the hubless."

From Chapter 41:
"The completely immaculate seems disgraced. The thoroughly virtuous seems insufficient. Established morality seems a conspiracy. True characteristics seem submerged."

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Note 7:
Lao Ma's husband was Lao-Tzu (known for The Tao Teh Ching). Lao Ma gave him false credit for her orders and writings (The Debt II [53/307]). >From the Whoosh! transcript:

LM: "The only way a woman could rule in the kingdom of Ch'in. It's my gift to him. He was a vicious tyrant. I'm going to make him the most loved of rulers."

X: "Don't you get sick of him getting the credit for everything that you do?"

LM: "Not at all. As long as good is done."

X: "You write down all that wisdom stuff-- huh?"

LM: "Yes-- in his book."

X: "You give him credit for that, too?"

LM: "This wisdom comes from Heaven. What difference does it make who gets credit for it-- Lao Ma or Lao Tzu?"

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Bibliography

Gibbs, Tam C.: Lao-Tzu: "My Words are Very Easy to Understand"; North Atlantic Books, 1981, p. 53, 135, 140.

Hamilton, Edith: Mythology; Little, Brown and Company, 1942, p. 48, 139, 309-310

National Organization for Victim Assistance: Overview of Crisis Response; U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, 1998, see "Maslow's Basic Hierarchy of Human Needs," and the section, "Creating a Healthy Growth Equilibrium," in general. (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/infores/crt/chap1.htm)

(Not directly used:
Online Translations of The Tao Teh Ching: rhino.harvard.edu/elwin/pJoy/taotechingNoFrame.html,
http://www.ii.uib.no/~arnemo/tao/tao_teh_ching_index.html.
www.ii.uib.no/~arnemo/tao/tao.html has general Taoist resources.)

 

Other Cartoony Xenas Online

Aponce's cartoon vignettes: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Gallery/2296.

Attwood, Jeannette T.G.: Battle On!; weekly at Tom's Xena Page, http://www.xenafan.com/battleon.

Ingalls, Wes: Xena Subtext Comics; http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Studio/1954/index.html.

Large, single drawing of Xena and Gabrielle kicking Bevis and Butthead Butt: http://www.xenafan.com/gallery/xena/darren/xenahead.gif.

Nitrozac: After Y2k!; http://www.after-y2k.com. Xena appeared a few times there last summer (July 21, 22, 23, Aug 1, and Aug 3).

Xena and Gabrielle napkin drawing: http://www.snerk.net/graphics/art/xena-gabby-napkin.jpg.

Xena Online Resources Fan Art Links: http://www.xenite.org/xor/Fan_Art.



Biography

Suzanne Morine Suzanne Morine
I more or less quit watching Xena last season but still have very fond memories of the show and fandom. I write software for a living. In my free time I have made informational Web pages and miscellaneous fan stuff (a full list at http://www.dimensional.com/~suzannem/projects.htm). I am also getting into cartooning again. I used to be very exacting in my drawings and want to discard that approach. Regarding the content of this article, my creative stuff is generally ahead of where I am and so was this. Doing this cartoon article was very rewarding and I hope to see others' observations that come out of it.

Favorite episode: A hard question! The ones that spring to mind are: CALLISTO (22/122); ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES (17/117); A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215).
Favorite line: Xena: "Don't apologize, just improve." CHARIOTS OF WAR (02/102)
First episode seen: First full episode was THE GREATER GOOD (21/121). I had previously seen parts of ALTARED STATES (19/119) and CHARIOTS OF WAR (02/102), presumably in rerun.
Least favorite episode: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE? (24/124), for starting (in my opinion, of course) bad trends toward sloppiness and over exaggeration.


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