Whoosh! Issue 41 - February 2000
Letters to the Editor




The Continuing Saga of Lao Ma

Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000
From: A.L.Shaughnessy
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Regarding Ariadne de la Montagne's letter in Issue 40 regarding Lao Ma's influence (or lack of it), I would like to offer an alternative view.

It should be remembered that Xena is nowhere as evil and treacherous in "The Gauntlet" as she is in "The Warrior Princess". The formerly unrepentant villainess rescues a baby (perhaps a reminder of the son she gave up?), and is deposed and almost killed by her own men. It is only after these events that she joins forces with Hercules.

No explanation is given for this change in Xena's character; it seems to have occurred between episodes. Could this be due to her remembrance of Lao Ma's teachings? Certainly, Hercules planted the seed of Xena's new life and Gabrielle has nurtured it since then, but someone had to break the soil in the first place. I believe Lao Ma was that person.

As for Lao Ma's inability to straighten out her own family, surely that just reflects real life? Even professional counsellors can have terrible problems in their personal lives; they may find themselves unable to help those closest to them. Remember also that Ming T'ien explicitly stated that he knew Lao Ma would not use her powers against him.

In short, I feel that Lao Ma should be given credit for making possible Hercules' and Gabrielle's later successes. It would be wrong to dismiss her as irrelevant or a failure.

Keep up the good work,

Andrew





The Continuing Saga of Laura Sue

From: Dawn Hanley
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000

Are you going to get someone to do News Gossip and Rumors? What happened to Laura Sue? I really enjoyed the column. I also enjoy the other features of Whoosh.

Take Care
Dawn



RESPONSE FROM KYM MASERA TABORN

We are waiting with baited breath for the report that the private investigator has promised to send us! When we get that, we will be able to tell you what happened to Laura Sue!





The Continuing Saga of Updates

From: Nancy Primm
Subject: UPDATES??????
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000

Although I am not a 'card-carrying' member of Whoosh!, it is on my favorites list and I visit it almost everyday looking for the latest updates and so on. I would very much like to know if the reason for no recent updates/show reviews has been because of the holidays and such or is it something more sinister. Like perhaps Renaissance is holding out on the new stuff? Beth Gaynor is my favorite critic btw. Also, I don't know how connected you are but I was at the Australian website devoted to ROC (and LL to a lesser degree) and it seemed they had synopsis' of upcoming shows including the sex of Xena's baby, it's name, and the possibilty that thru magic aka Eli, or the Gods, or Callisto that the child will age more rapidly than Hope ever did. And that they will "go off to fight evil in their own way", while Xena and Gabrielle go on traveling by themselves. I am aware that rumours/possible rumours should always be taken lightly, but if this is true then someone down in Oz has serious connections to the show. Just thought you might be interested to know. If it is going to be awhile before new items are posted, and if it is possible to do so, a note on the site would be nice. Thanks for your time.

Nancy Primm



RESPONSE FROM KYM MASERA TABORN

Yeah, it's all my fault. I have had some intense encounters with REAL LIFE and they have made me get very very behind in my WHOOSH duties. However, I am going to play catch up until I do catch up (if that is even humanly possible). Thanks for your support of the website. It is the labor of love for a whole troop of people and they are heartened by the knowledge that our visitors reading the website are just as interested in it as the people writing it.





Too Much Negativity

Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2000
From: S Dye
Subject: Letter to the Editor

First, let me say that I love Whoosh. It's one of the sites that I go to every day to check to see what's new. And I also have to say that I loved your Dead persons calendar. The interviews were hilarious!

The only thing I don't love about it is that you let people say negative things about the show. I know you may be concerned about letting everyone have equal time or some other fair play type of thing like that, but I don't want to read negative things about the show!

That's one reason I don't go often to Xorys' site--because I didn't want to hear anymore about how she hated Ides of March. When I see one of your reviewers is going to give a negative review, I usually skip it. I guess what I'm saying is, I don't want to be ambushed by negative comments when the reason I come to this site is to share with others who love the show like I do. Maybe you could create a section for those who have criticisms to sound off, though if they don't like the show or the characters or the actors, then why are they watching it and writing about it?

I know I'm doing what I've preached against--I'm being negative here. So you don't have to print this letter if you'd rather not. I just hope some reevaluating will be done when it comes to negative criticism of the show. Thanks, and I'll still be a regular visitor to Whoosh.

Sally Dye





Xena in the Military

Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000
From: John McClure
Subject: General input

I thought you might be interested in this. It is selected parts of an e-mail from Bill, a friend of mine and a fellow re-enacter of my Jacobite Rebellion group. He is presently on the USS Kennedy ("Big John") somewhere in the Red Sea. I E-mailed him the coordinates of "Whoosh!", Issue 39, and told him to check out my bio @ Xena's Calendar.

After receiving his opening paragraph of insults (a sign of esteem amongst my people), he wrote the following (which he also gave me permission to forward to you, and to "Whoosh!"):

"I was deployed to Bosnia in 97-98 as a member of a Joint Army/Navy EOD Company - not as a member of a unit onboard the USS John F Kennedy [as I am today]. [There] the troops (and myself) glued to the big screen T/V in that chow hall at Camp Bedrock. Almost all of them were of the ARMY (SFOR) persuasion, NOT deep Navy Blue - almost pure Army Green!

THE most popular show for my deployment in Bosnia was Xena!! God Help You, if you had the temerity to even Think about touching that T/V when the Warrior Princess was up!! Man, you had to practically reserve a good seat in the chow hall an hour early to see the action on the big screen T/V in there!!" "The Camp Bedrock chow hall in Bosnia could accommodate approximately 300+. The Camp Eagle chow hall had it going on to (hell man, every camp there did!) with over a 800+. Prime real estate up front was limited to less than 100 guys. Slackers had to make do with the "cheap seats".

[At present] "Armed Forces Television (Known out here as A-Farts), has been pulling some scheduling skullduggery with us "X-Types" lately [on the Kennedy]. Attendance out here on Big John has been a little down as a result. There is a much different philosophy on the ships anyway, Jack. These guys DO NOT live by the "warrior code" as well as the Army folks do in those Spartan base camps."

"Because of "The Business of which I am Otherwise Engaged", I really do personally prefer the company of Army guys or even Marines. Give me a true warrior any day over some pasty, limp wristed, pencil pushing, pencil necked, pocket pal wearing - GEEK!!!!! Wow, that was really liberating! Be seeing you - Bill"

...the business in which Bill refers to as being otherwise engaged, is EOD - Explosive Ordinance Disposal, a.k.a. getting rid of boom-things that didn't go off when they were supposed to. He has a lovely wife and two incredibly beautiful pre teenage daughters. I value his comments, and friendship highly.

Jack





PURITY and BACK IN THE BOTTLE

Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999
From: Margaret Hill
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I've never complained about any episode of XWP before, and although I liked or loved the other episodes so far this season, I must say I thought "Purity" & "Back in the Bottle" were two of the dullest XWP episodes ever, despite their flamboyance and obvious expense. I don't mean the lack of interaction between Xena and Gabrielle, because that's been the case in many episodes over the years including those from which one or the other was entirely absent, but during which I 've still found something to grab me (yes, I like Joxer). But I didn't see any character or plot line at all interesting in these spectacular but boring hours, which is so unlike XWP, known for its "jaw dropping" ideas, whether in episodes with expensive Roman legions or simply 3 people in a room. Xena turns the Golden Horde to stone just isn't one of those ideas.





Same Old Uber

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000
From: Dafydd Apthomas
Subject: uber same old same old

I read [And a] Nightingale [by The Fallen]. The characterization is good, but there is no adventure. Just the tired old run away and search theme from Strangers in Paradise. I couldn't find the sequel but with Janice topping herself, who wants to know? If I want misery guilt and despair I can watch series 4.

[Generally], the theme of being too shy and then one says she wants the other is so over-used [in Janice and Mel fan fiction] that I have written 'A Mind to Kill' where Covington is a hompophobic bigot and sends Pappas to the looney bin. It will be on-line [soon].

dafydd apthomas





The Century Awards

From: Josh Harrison
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000

To All Xena Fans,

As you may know, we have been working on The Century Awards over the course of the past few months and we have finally finished our project. The awards and feedback will soon be on their way to New Zealand and hopefully Lucy, Renee and gang will know just how much the show and their work mean to all of us.

When we first started out, we simply wanted to recognize the cast and crew for their hard work and dedication over the past one hundred episodes. However, much to our surprise, we not only accomplished that, but personally we received much more. After visiting hundreds of Xena-related websites, chatting with many of you and reading the wonderful feedback left at our website, this project wound up touching our lives as well. We were moved by what many of you have done and said simply because of "Xena". Whether it was a fan in Texas or one in Brazil, the one thing that everyone had in common was a love for this show, the characters that are brought to life by the talented cast and the wonderful stories we watch unfold week after week thanks to a dedicated crew. Hopefully after this, the folks in New Zealand will know how much we appreciate what they do, and it will bring a smile to their faces.

So as we conclude this project, we would like to thank each and every one of you who stopped by and voted, left feedback and answered the countless number of questions that we have asked over the course of the past few months. "Xena" fans are some of the most gracious and special folks out there and we hope that our project brought a little joy into each of your lives. Your participation and input certainly brightened up ours! We appreciate all of you!

Special Thanks To: the Xena-related lists' webmasters/mistresses who allowed us to post news about our site, MaryD of the Australian Xena Information Page, Mist at Sword and Staff, Dixie at Xenite.org, the folks who host the netforum at the Official Xena website, Gator, Joshua Bloom, the gang at Whoosh, all the fans who posted news about our site on their webpages, Sharon Delaney and anyone else we might have forgotten to mention here but was vital to our project. We couldn't have done any of this without all of you!

Thanks ever so much,

The Century Awards Staff
Josh Harrison (mataxes@mint.net)
Jan Mick (jmick@kih.net)





Kudos

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000
From: John McClure
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Sorry that I didn't get to meet you-all at the Hilton for breakfast on Sunday [at the Pasadena 2000 XENA Convention], but I had a chance to go tidal pool looking and beach walking down at Laguna and Newport Beach that morning. That might sound like a lame excuse to you "So-Cal" folks, but over here on the Old Coast our mud flats, tho' productive, aren't very scenic, and we rock jocks flip out over lumpy scenery…

Anyway; I had fun both Saturday and Sunday night in Pasadena, in watching the show, and also in getting to talk to a bunch of interesting people - mostly while I was in "deep cover" (i.e. not wearing the nifty name badge you sent me). Without a single exception, all of those with whom I spoke read Whoosh!, and liked it. Additionally, the most interesting comment I received (and the reason for this post) was from a group of about five in the Holiday Inn bar Saturday evening before the Cabaret: "Whoosh!, they don't have any pictures, but that's the site we go to when we really want to find out what is going on on the show!"

...congratulations to you, and all of the other "Whooshers" on a job continually well done,

Jack





The Joxer Corner

Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000
From: Anita Lorenz
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Re: Richard Furman's letter

Many things about this letter disturb me but the thing that really worries me, and worries me about all people that say this about the Gabrielle/Joxer dynamic, is the notion that Gabrielle is in some way 'above' Joxer.

Now what makes anybody think that one person is above another? Gabrielle has her faults, Joxer has his, as does Xena. I've always felt that they are equals. The fact that Joxer lacks social graces or is not as apt at the art of bashing the opponents head in as his comrades does not make him any less of a person. I'd worry about the ethics of anybody who would think otherwise.

The whole idea reminds me of high school politics, where the 'cool' people would sit away from the 'nerds' and were treated better than them on accounts of flashier clothes and nicer hairstyles. Who wants to live in a world like that? Sure, life happens like that, but I don't see the use in reciprocating it with that sort of attitude.

Xena is a show that doesn't reciprocate that attitude. In fact in having Joxer by their sides in their life, our heroines are saying that everyone is on the same 'level' as Rich put it.

Nancy Lorenz.




From: Andjam
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000
Subject: Letter to the editor

Two letters last month coming down on a Gabrielle-Joxer romance like a ton of styrophene rocks. Ouch. I feel like Callisto.

Valerie Foster says that Joxer is comic relief, and presumably not a possible romantic interest. Joxer is more than comic relief, with many people strongly identifying with him, such as Virginia Carper's "Joxer from a Disability Perspective".

I feel "definitely portrayed as threats" is too arrogant, especially when used in the same sentence as dismissing the Joxer-Gabrielle dynamic. The list of "definite ... threats" also seemed to include every female (and one male) in the 4th season barring Argo.

On the issue of gender, I was mildly offended by you listing possible male partners. I don't have a heterosexual agenda. I'm not saying you meant to offend me, but a common and hurtful stereotype for Joxerites and GJRSers is that they are homophobes.

Valerie claims that a Gabrielle-Joxer romance would be an insult to the Gabrielle character, saying a lot of negative things about Joxer for someone not claiming to be a Joxerphobe. I feel that a Gabrielle- Xena romance would be the insult to the Gabrielle character. Joxer isn't as competent as Gabrielle and Xena, but he's a heck of a lot nicer than Xena. Except when TPTB weaken Gabrielle, Joxer and others so Xena can save the day in the last five minutes, Gabrielle is good enough to look after herself. She can afford evaluate on niceness. Gabrielle with Xena means dependency on her and taking what Xena did to her and Hope in the 3rd season lying down.

I disagree with the idea that XWP must primarily be about the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. To say so would be to turn back the clock to the 1st and 2nd season "are they or aren't they?" flame wars. I think that the deal now (with competing romances) is better, as it doesn't revolve as much around homosexuality as before.

Andjam




From: Andjam
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000
Subject: Letter to the editor: All-Joxer / supporting cast edition in the air

In response to Kym's statement in the "Letters to the editor" section of the December edition of Whoosh, and other factors, I requested either an all-Joxer edition of Whoosh, or if we need a broader category, an all-supporting cast edition of Whoosh.

The bad news is that Kym cannot guarantee such an edition, unlike the all-subtext edition. If the articles are there, she'll publish it, but if they aren't there, it won't happen. This bad news has made me reluctant to publicise the deal, especially as I was trying to get a better deal.

The good news is that Kym has guaranteed that if you write an article that fits in with the rules (ie no fan fic or art) your article will get published, even if no special edition results.

So get out there and write!

Andjam



RESPONSE BY KYM MASERA TABORN

We have decided to make next year's calendar issue (issue #52, January 2001: A WHOOSH Odyssey) theme "Recurring Characters in the Xenaverse". Articles will be accepted about any character who has appeared at least twice in the series. The deadline for the articles will be November 15, 2000. Voting on the calendar will start October 1st and continue through October 31st 2000.




From: rivier
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Phobophobia

Dear Editor, I'm confused. Valerie Foster's justification last month of her degradation of Joxer's role in the Xenaverse starts with a clear disclaimer - "I want to premise my response by saying first that I am not a Joxerphobe." Why then does she go on to display so much manifest, undisguised Joxerphobia in the course of her arguments?

There's a kick-off reference to Ted Raimi's acting capability -- curiously irrelevant, surely. When does anyone ever seem compelled to assess the Xena / Gabrielle relationship in terms of Lucy Lawless' CV or Renee O'Connor's Method techniques?

Joxerphobes are never content with making a dispassionate, non-judgemental case for their interpretation of the character's irrelevance in the scheme of things. For Valerie, it is almost laughable that anyone could consider Joxer a threat to the Xena / Gab nexus: after all, the character of Joxer is, simply stated, a comic relief. His role... to strike a light and comical balance to the serious and complex characters that are Xena and Gabrielle.

This would be a fair and objective assessment... Yep, if you're happy to throw away about 90% of the character's role since his introduction. Maybe it's me. I don't remember enjoying those honking belly-laughs at the end of "For Him the Bell Tolls", or "Comedy of Eros", "Forget Me Not", "Sacrifice 1", "The Convert"... In the good old broadcasting backwoods of the UK, I have yet to see Joxer prising the nails out of Gabrielle's crucified corpse in "Fallen Angel", but thanks to Valerie, given it's Joxer, I know it can _only_ be a laugh-a-minute scene.

Would the phobes, intent on derogating Joxer's part in the Xenaverse, accept arguments based on comparable truncations of Gabrielle's character as, for example, mere 'comic relief' (most of Season 1)? - or vain, shallow and self-deluding (Fins, Femmes & Gems, The Play's The Thing)? - or smug, passive and censorious (choose your favourite Season 4 ep)?

Valerie asserts it would be more plausible for Xena or Gabrielle to be romantically inclined to, for example, Autolocus (sic) -- after all, he's a habitual and absolutely unabashed thief, who can only be driven to do good by bribery or full body possession. Or how about Ares? He's a warmongering screw-with-your-head psychopath, with a nasty tendency towards quasi-incestuous impulses (and quite the wuss when stripped of those godly trappings).

Joxer, in contrast, is "slow, clumsy and a dimwitted whorehouse patron." No offence, Valerie, as you say, but when did the Karma Police make clumsiness or below-MENSA I.Q. a capital crime? As to patron, neither Xena or Gabrielle seem to find it distasteful or reprehensible to encounter Joxer in a brothel. Why should they? His girlfriend owns the place, and he's manifestly held in great affection by all the girls working at Meg's. Wouldn't that be strange if he was having sex with the whores as well as dating the Madam? It would certainly be pretty darned 'studly'.

By this kind of extraordinarily subjective nipping and tucking, a seasoned phobe can create a distorted picture of a Joxer who would obviously be a poor match for "a highly intelligent, resourceful, complex, talented and loving character like Gabrielle". A 'phobe cannot ever allow that Joxer might share even a modicum of these characteristics, and like Valerie, must make their argument by ignoring ruthlessly any evidence to the contrary.

Joxer is an average human being, at sea in the Xenaverse -- no god-ancestry, no astonishing hidden talents; a sense of right and wrong which seems to have survived a Cinderella-like upbringing in a family of amoral fighters. Life hasn't given Joxer much, but this hasn't made him cynical, sullen, revenge-crazed or aggressive. Is it likely that this character would continue, month after month, to draw such impassioned support -- as well, indeed, as such impassioned hostility -- from any of us, if he were nothing more than an inadequate blunderer and whoremonger, provoking the occasional despising snigger but never anything more? And, as others have repeatedly pointed out before me, the biggest question has to be why Xena and Gabrielle have progressed from casual contempt, through joshing, to concern, friendship, affection, for this galoot? Does Xena really strike the phobes as someone who would tolerate the company of a valueless drone, 'as if she could do no better'?

I'm happy to confess to my vast affection for Joxer. Strangely enough, this doesn't mean that I want to be watching a show called "Joxer: Mighty Studmuffin". This is a show about _Xena_. That includes all things of importance to Xena -- her most significant relationship (unarguably that with Gabrielle), how she battles her inner demons, how she endeavours to do good in a world where doing bad is just so much easier. Etc. Like it or not, and from whatever initial premise Joxer's character entered the scene, he is also unarguably, and increasingly, one of the things of importance to Xena. And what matters to Xena, matters to Gabrielle.

I'd really prefer Joxer to grow out of the biggest crush in the world, because I can't believe, on evidence to date, that Gabrielle will ever do much good for his faltering self-esteem (which Xena, incidentally, goes out of her way to bolster). But I'm ready to accept the ride, wherever TPTB take us. Even if that includes what I've read of "Lyre, Lyre" (outside of the Bluesongs synopsis, of course) - Gabrielle's admission that she is jealous of Joxer having romantic liaisons with other women, and even (gasp!) confessing to him that she has strong feelings for him. Who can say where that one will go?

But I want to make a sincere plea to Joxerphobes. Bring it on! Keep fighting the facts, and the 'philes will find more facts to counter your distortions. If their phobia were for same-sex relationships, or cult fandoms, say, the Joxer-haters would earn contempt in the Xenaverse.

All I ask is, please don't confuse me, by professing to be neutral when you can't be bothered to invest some effort in hiding your true bigotry. It insults the intelligence.






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