Whoosh! Issue 41 - February 2000
Letters to the Editor

From: Xiomara Suro
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 5:12 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I know that what I am about to state might cost me the ability to post my commentaries on your page and my ability to continue to be considered a member of your staff, but I could not stand by without making a comment on the editorial entitled "Where is Lucy Lawless?"

I do not agree with the way you portray Lucy Lawless in this editorial. To begin with, you mention every one who has contributed to the "Sword & Staff" charity. You go as far as, and I quote:

"EVEN Gillian Anderson (Scully of X-Files) was mentioned as a contributor and she has never had ANYTHING to do with the show. Consequently, Anderson has shown more charitable spirit than the star of the show. "

What I believe is that the show has shown that it is a great show and its stars are great actresses who can pull in even actresses from other shows. It shows that even stars from other shows are compelled to accept the importance of this show. It also shows that Ms. Anderson finds some of the charities sponsored by "Sword & Staff" to her liking.

You don't have to be related to the show or been a member of the show to have a desire to help some of the charities sponsored by "Staff & Sword". At the same time, because you are related to the show or are part of the staff, it does not mean that you have to be compelled to assist the charities "Sword & Staff" sponsors.

I don't participate in any of the charities "Sword & Staff" sponsors. I choose to support other worthy charities. Does that make me less a fan of the show? I don't think so.

Charity work is something very personal and something that cannot be forced on any person. The reason we participate in special charities is because those charities represent something close to our heart. Many times we give to those charities in an anonymous manner, partly because of the importance of the charity and partly because we don't want to call attention to ourselves.

You also stated:

"Okay, granted Lucy Lawless is a busy gal and gets inundated with requests all the time. But listen up Lawless representatives, there is ONLY ONE fan sponsored charitable organization. That is Sword & Staff. Just one. It is not like there are one or more fan charity groups out there competing for your attention. "

With this statement you put the star of the show in the middle of a dilemma. If she does not answer your request, she is ignoring her fans. If she just contributes (even if she does not want to), she is just doing it to appease the commentaries on her lack of participation. If she does not participate, she is perceived to be "dissing" her fans.

Most of us follow the show because the show presents a character that is true to itself. Xena is true to what Xena is. She has shown us that she can be wrong and that she can be right, but one thing she has never been is a "cookie cutter" female who just follows a group for the sense of following. She has dictated her own path; right or wrong, it has been her path. We also follow the show because the stars of the show are true to themselves. They have shown us, the fans, that they are down to earth people who stand up for who they are and for what they believe. They don't put on an act to please the Hollywood gossip community. They do a show they believe in and they are happy about doing and being what they are.

Just because Ms. Lawless does not contribute to the charities sponsored by "Sword & Staff" does not make her less caring of her fans. Yes, it is true that this group is formed by fans of the show and it would be great to have the star of the show participate, but by no means does it mean she cares any less for her fans. That is an assumption made by the editor of this page based only on the fact that the star of the show is not participating in a charity organization created by fans of the show.

"Why care about a fan run charitable group? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Lawless has fans that care about more than just buying those high-priced signed plaques and limited run chakrams, but fans who run their own auctions for charities, make sure that some needy people's lives are brightened up by some attention that Lawless or her representatives cannot provide, and that have made sure that Sword & Staff reached $112,000 plus in actual contributions. "

I have to agree with you. Some of the things out there related to the show are overpriced. But you have to realize that not all the fans of the show are members of "Sword and Staff". Some of us donate to many charities just because we believe in giving to those less fortunate than us. I believe that donating to a charity has nothing to do with being a fan of a show. I also believe that being a fan of a show, I should not feel obligated to donate to charities sponsored by a group of fans from the show.

By no means am I trying to downplay all the good work done by "Sword & Staff". I think what they have done is great and I encourage them to continue the great job they are doing.

"It is an honest-to-God force in the Xenaverse which emphasizes the fans' good nature and generosity. To support it would honor the fans' determination in establishing, maintaining, and supporting such an organization. Why would honoring fans be a good idea? Fans are the people who watch the show regularly, promote the show by keeping interest alive in the show, pay to go to those conventions, and buy all that stuff so that some more mortgage payments can be made. "

I have to agree with you that the fans are the ones who support the show. We are the ones who buy all those overpriced trinkets and we are the ones who help in the promotion of the show by keeping interest in the show alive. However, being fans does not give us the right to tell the star of the show what charities she should sponsor and to which charitable organizations she should belong. Yes, it would be a great boost to the ego of the fans if Ms. Lawless contributed to "Sword & Staff", but would the work of the organization be any better or more noble if she did? Will the people "Sword & Staff" are helping be any better off because the star of the show sponsors the group?

I believe the simple fact that "Sword & Staff" is doing good in helping others should be reward enough to the fans. The lack of participation of the star of the show should not be a focal point.

"One of the sad things about having such a popular show is that one cannot thank each fan. There are just too many. But there is a way that Lucy Lawless could show her appreciation for her fans in a more meaningful way than just shaking their hand or making sure they get an autographed picture. It is really easy. All she needs do is just not embarrass her fans by not appearing on a list like that list of cast members and guest stars of Xena mentioned above [and it should be noted that Lucy Lawless has never contributed any material for Sword and Staff to distribute or auction off]. Lucy Lawless should have been the number one name on the list. She would have made it even if she would have given Sword & Staff a mere moment of her attention. Apparently she could even not do that, whereas a star of X-Files could. "

Once again the editor states that Ms. Lawless does not care about her fans because her name does not appear on the list of "Sword a& Staff", but that the star of "The X-Files" does. Maybe the star of "The X-Files" is a fan of the show and is donating not as the star of a popular television show, but as a fan of "Xena: Warrior Princess".

Once again this statement presents a false picture of the star of the show. Are we absolutely sure she has not participated? Are we sure she has not used another name to donate without calling attention to herself and, in that way, let the hardworking fans who sponsor the organization take all the credit for the work and the results? It would be very easy for Ms. Lawless to give to the organization using her name and take all the glory away from the people who really do the work of the organization. It is much harder to donate in anonymity and have people believe you don't care.

I am not trying to say that those actors who contributed using their names are in any way wrong. On the contrary, I think their gesture is a very positive and inspiring one. However, just because the name of the lead star does not appear on a list does not mean she does not care for her fans.

Have we taken the time to see to what charities Ms. Lawless contributes? Have we taken our time to research some of Ms. Lawless' activities in regard to the needy? If I'm not mistaken, Ms. Lawless cannot make an appearance without being linked to the show and if she gives to a charitable organization, it is seen as a contribution from Lucy Lawless, star of "Xena: Warrior Princess". Shouldn't that in itself be a boost to the fans' egos.

"Perhaps Lucy Lawless will make a New Years Resolution to remedy this situation. Just a pile of signed autographs, which would cost her perhaps a mere 10-15 minutes of her time, could mean thousands of dollars in donations for Sword & Staff to administer, could make a sad child smile, and could make her fans feel proud that she is just as charitable and generous as her acting peers."

By this last paragraph, am I to understand that any and all charitable work done by Ms. Lawless does not count and will not make the fans happy or proud because Ms. Lawless did not do that work through "Sword & Staff"? I believe this statement should not have been made. If I'm not mistaken, Ms. Lawless has contributed to several childrens organizations and has put plenty of smiles on childrens' faces without being part of "Sword & Staff".

We should be careful what we demand from those of whom we claim to be fans. We should remember that they are people, just as we are, and they have feelings, just as we do. I do not allow anyone to tell me to what charities I should or should not donate. I give what I can and to which organizations I feel are most deserving. The same right should be allowed for Ms. Lawless.

Charity is just that; charity. We should not force anyone to be charitable to those organizations we believe in just because they are the star of a show we like.

Finally, I believe we should look further into Ms. Lawless' work for charitable organizations before we make statements like the ones made in this editorial.

From: Theresa Letosky
Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2000 6:11 AM
Subject: Support of Editorial

With all the spit that has been flying , I wanted to let you know I support your article and your right to say it. I have read alot of negative posts and frankly think people have taken it where it was not intented to go. I wonder if they have read the same article. Keep up the good work!


From: HGoense
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 10:14 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

dishing Lucy like that was a bit mean.

Charity begins at home. And her home is New Zealand and any article you read you will see she has been more than generous in her homeland. The USA has alot of people who give maybe New Zealand has less who can give and Lucy has been blessed to be able to give to her people. Cancer,the homeless, and rainforests exist in her country too.

Instead of condemning her; you should take it up with her USA fan club which could have donated items on her behalf; afterall they have received alot of items from her lately(just watch the EBAY auctions)

So if you're truly a fan; give her a break. Besides do you need items in exchange for giving charity???

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