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The Weekend Australian
1 November 1997
First there was the stage door; then came the low rent fanzine. Today, thanks to the Internet, stratruck fans can shout their esteem/obsession/lust for a celebrity from the rooftops -- or at least, from their droning, overheating modems.
Twinklng way on the World Wide Web is a galaxy of fans club and fan sites -- most of them unofficial and happily unknown to the celebrities they honour.
Clive James was right -- acquiring it and losing it -- has been on of the great themes of the 20th Century. Just look at the myriad of newsgroups and chat rooms that sparked to life when Princess Diana died and Tiger Wood became an overnight golfing legend. The digital age gives celebrity worship a whole new dimension.
Sometimes that level of hero worship blurs into pure, unadulterated lust. Earlier this year Time reported that the top five online attractions with the largest number of fan Web pages were all about women: pamela Lee, Sandara Bullock, Madonna, Tori Amos and the Spice Girls.
Cult celebrities from TV and film can sometimes become major stars on the Internet. Take the show Xena: Warrior Princess, which was a spin-off from the Hercules series. Xena, who has an imposing chest and deck 'em fists, has fan clubs, mailing lists, and even "XenaFests" organised for her via the World Wide Web.
"I feel strongly about the show" says MaryD, president of an online Xena Fan Club in Sydney. "It's the story of a woman trying to find redemption. The show also highlights the strong friendship between two women - Xena and Gabrielle - which is unusual".
Xena: Warrior Princess
[MaryD: The Online Xena Fan Club is the Down Under Xenites - for Australian Xenites to get together]
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