Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesdays With Phineas Redux

A new segment is starting today. "Tuesdays With Phineas Redux" will highlight Phineas' insights into all things Xena. It will be posted every Tuesday in weekly installments. Here is the first installment.

The Perfect Xena Story

—Will have to tick several boxes. It must be, overall, both dramatic melodramatic and unbelievable; have a twisted sense of historical chronology; and show such disregard for character development and interpretation of historical personages, as to boggle the imagination of any sensible reader. Reality should not be its strong point.

Xena should be portrayed as at once savage and unforgiving; sadistic, yet loving; dangerous, yet gentle; and determined to do good and right for the majority, however many individuals come to grief as a result of her hare-brained schemes, and in-your-face harsh methods of taking revenge against the baddies.

Revenge tolls loudly in Xena’s ears. She wants revenge on those who did her wrong in times gone by; and, by the Gods, there seem to have been hordes of such people! Revenge on local warlords going about their lawful purposes. Revenge on a variety of Gods of both sexes. Although with some (I’m thinking Ares, here) she wants revenge, lustful shenanigans, kick-ass vengeance, and a double-serving of loathing-fuelled hatred, all mixed together on her plate at once. This, of course, makes for a heady brew.

Gabrielle must be shown as incapable of tying her own bootlaces without Xena’s protection; yet absolutely the best Amazon warrior there has ever been, perfectly capable of kicking Xena’s ass if required; and certainly able to keep the energetic Warrior Princess under her blond-haired thumb (is that a double-whatever?) at all times. She should be described as wearing the most outrageous clothes; if the few small remnants she adorns her body in can be called clothes at all in the true sense of the term. Gabrielle’s temper should be shown as reflecting all the calm acceptance of a saint; while at the same time being only slightly less dangerous and destructive than an active volcano, when roused.

Gabrielle’s forbearance and wholly uncritical forgiveness for any and all bad deeds that Xena has ever undertaken, or will in future undertake, must be completely without logical or moral base. Gabrielle must effortlessly forgive Xena for sinking a ship, with the loss of all passengers and crew, on her journey to save a city; yet the Amazon must also react furiously against the citizens who are less than chuffed when Xena razes their town to the ground in order to save them from fifty brigands, led by a drunken sot.

Gabrielle must be sentimentally moved by any religion or sect that crosses her path; while at the same time offering sarcastic remarks to Xena about how the warrior is so often used by the Gods for their own purposes. Gabrielle should growl and snarl at Ares, the God of War; yes, that’s Ares, the God of War! But show nothing but friendship for Aphrodite, the ditziest Goddess in the Universe.

Gabrielle must be sketched as being wholly focussed on one person, Xena; subduing her whole life and personality to caring for the Warrior Princess; yet also be commanding and powerful in her stance as Queen of the Amazons. She must lament when a sparrow breaks its wing; yet lead her Amazon troops into bloody slaughter against the Romans. She must show hidden reserves of goodness, capability against all odds, a military accomplishment that would have put Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Henry V, General Eisenhower, and George S Patton to shame. At the exact same time she must be shown as horrified at the death of a single soldier or warrior; and ever willing to crawl into no-man’s-land to tend to a wounded warrior of either side no matter the risk to herself or those she is attempting to protect, if she is killed.

Gabrielle must be portrayed as at once merely Xena’s companion; her right-hand man; her secret lover; her open lover; her platonic lover; and also as capable of falling for almost anyone who crosses her red/gold or blonde-haired path, especially if it is a young handsome intellectually challenged man (think red shirt!). Gabrielle must, of course, be ready to be swayed by the personality, speeches, orations, or tender endearments of anyone at all, whether the time is propitious or not. She must follow Xena’s path with a blind determination that beggars belief; yet also swan off in a huff, possibly for several weeks at a time, when she thinks Xena is taking her presence and help lightly.

Xena must love Gabrielle wholly, completely, and without reserve. Xena must think Gabrielle is a prat who seriously encumbers her every move. Xena must explain in detail to Gabrielle that she, the Warrior Princess, has no use for any God and they are a blight on the landscape, end of discussion; then allow herself to be killed in order to enter the spirit world, be protected by these same Gods, and save the world (or at least one measly unknown town in Japan, whose presence on a map heretofore has universally been taken as a fly-spot for generations).

Xena must be shown to be mad as a ditch-digger without a shovel; capable of revenge on an enemy that would make Nero turn pale; stand for the absolute right of any group of people to go their own way; wreak bloody havoc against the Roman right to rule the known world (what did Xena want? The world to be ruled by a Greek psycho, like Alexander the Great?). She should thrust Gabrielle aside mercilessly; grab hold of the blonde one at every opportunity; be cold towards her best friend; lust for all sorts of high jinks with her; and be jealous as hell of every single person, male or female, who tries to strike up any kind of meaningful friendship with Gabrielle.

Gabrielle should disdain violence at every opportunity; teach her Amazons the arts of war and lead them into battle; she should love Xena; she should hate Xena; (let’s go nowhere near the conflict between them over Gabrielle’s daughter and Xena’s son); and finally Gabrielle should be revealed as, at the end of their adventures together, a completely different person from the girl who first met the Warrior Princess; while Xena, in her turn, remains exactly the same person at the end of the story as she was at the start.

If any author takes note of the above helpful hints, and attempts to shoe-horn as many of them into a single short story as is physically possible, then I am assured they will find themselves the happy perpetrator of the perfect Xena story.

Oh God, I can’t go on. It’s all too much for me. Hmm, this cartoon series ‘The Simpsons’—well-rounded characters; believable adventures; remarkably well-defined setting; and a wholly moral outlook on family life. Yep, looks as if I’ve found exactly the right fanfiction base I’ve been searching for all these years! So, first of all—how do we explain the yellow skin? The blue hair is, of course, a wig. Wait a minute, I have a cunning plan—

The End

~Phineas Redux~

Story Recommendation:
'Anything To Anywhere ' By Phineas Redux
This is an Uberfic set in England in 1942. Zena Mathews, a young New Zealand woman working as a pilot in the British Air Transport Auxiliary, is given a dangerous mission over enemy-occupied Europe; accompanied by her new navigator, Gabrielle Parker.

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