Tue 22nd July 2008, 10:12pm
QUOTE(Mr. Mystery @ Tue 22nd July 2008, 2:12pm)
I sometimes wondered if SV was able to succeed and maintain the massive levels of support she had was because of the religious, as opposed to the sexual, conotations of her username. If Jimbo was "the God-King," and if the early masses were willing to buy into that, the success of SV's "Vestal Virgin" persona could be attributed to the need of people to have a sort of religious iconic "virgin-mother figure," however harsh or imperious. In relating her personal security to the integral security of Wikipedia, SV adopted the same basic sort of "image" or PR strategy Queen Elizabeth I relied on to maintain power, relating her own body to divinity and the body politic, although Slim employed this in a far more hysterical fashion.
While still influential with the old guard, if only because Jimbo has not contravened his support for her, her histronics on the whole have been less successful lately. I would say this is because WP necessarily became less of a cult as it grew into a more simply massive social phenomenon, with more unanointed eyes in the system. Currently the cult is struggling to maintain power and consistency at the top levels. But the show's not over until the fat lady sings, as they say.
I was going to post this in a response to Milton Roe in Lar's thread, but it seemed more appropriate here.
We've discussed some of that on WR already. Yes, I think that SlimVirgin originally named herself that out of some claim for the sliming effects of virgin olive oil, not exactly intending to be the return of Elizabeth the Virgin Queen, but she certainly projected the eternally-thin-girl avatar, and eventually the eternal-virgin archetype was bound to come in. We've had far more than the Christian two millennia of this, of course-- there were vestal virgins
of a cult instituted by Numa Pompilius of Rome, circa 700 BC. They were the representatives of Hestia, virgin goddess of hearth. But there were also Greek and Roman virgin goddess for hunting, and intelligence, who long predate the Christian era.
With boys and girls I think there is a sort of "eternal youth" metaphor being looked to here. There's lots about it in both Frazier and Campbell. There are tie-ins with worship of agelessness, and also the "cult of the evanescent." The early Christians found it necessary to venerate Mary as a virgin even after
the sacred birth, with the intactus
restored through divine intercession. Thus, long before "Like a Virgin" Madonna, there was the original
Madonna! She didn't need to "reinvent" herself-- her "fans" did all that for her.
Alas, Slimey Slimmey of the Olive Oyl's personality comes through her avatar as more the Wicked Witch of the West than QE I or Joan of Arc. She is eternally short-tempered and damaging. Thus, Artemis more than Athena, and Athena more than Hestia. And no Madonna, by a long-shot.