Whoosh! Issue 41 - February 2000
Letters to the Editor

From: Mary McEneany
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 11:27 AM
Subject: your Whoosh editorial

No offense Kym, but are you out of your mind? Because Lucy chooses other charities (with emphasis on the CHARITY), over Sword & Staff, you feel you can berate her with your UNCHARITABLE ranting?

Get over it! And in the words of Xena; "Be Nice".


From: Peter Scarisbrick
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 12:34 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I have read the sad note on which the "editor" has started the new Millennium.

What a sad and sorry piece of crap. I seem to remember John Lennon signing an autograph for a fan, shortly before the fan murdered him.

Lucy owes no one nothing.

If you have nothing worth saying, say nothing!


From: ItsAlti
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2000 7:44 AM
Subject: Whoosh! Editorial

I've been following the controversy that has resulted from your editorial in the January 2000 issue of Whoosh! It's been quite the brouhaha, hasn't it?

It did strike me as strange that all this controversy arose over the issue of a few autographed pictures. I didn't quite understand why Lucy's representatives (who I can only guess translates to Creation Entertainment) wouldn't just send out a few and have done with it, particularly since the autographs would go to benefit charity.

Then I took a look at the Creation auctions on ebay and I can understand why fans aren't getting anything in the way of autographed merchandise from them. It seems to me that they found a gold mine there. The ebay history for the past month alone indicated that Creation had run over 400 auctions. While they are not all Xena:Warrior Princess items up for bid, that's still quite a lot of merchandise. As I browsed through the pages, I was amazed at the amounts of money being paid for Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor autographs in the Creation auctions. I remember fans complaining about some of the media kits going for so much money ($2,750 for one and $1,200 for another, if I recall correctly), but I was still really surprised by the ebay numbers.

Just to illustrate, in the relatively short period between December 17, 1999 and December 30, 1999 the following items autographed by Lucy Lawless were auctioned. I eliminated the plaques which were there in great abundance. These items were, from what I could tell, the standard autograph fare.

$ 200 (12/17) Lucy Lawless with Argo Autograph Photo (221870589)
$ 700 (12/17) Lucy Lawless/Renee O'Connor Autograph Chromium Poster (221910148)
$ 510 (12/21) Lucy Lawless Autograph Centerfold (224394871)
$ 682 (12/23) Lucy Lawless/Jacqueline Kim Autographed Photo (225176298)
$ 810 (12/23) Lucy Lawless/Renee O'Connor Autograph Shooting Script (225216552)
$ 610 (12/23) Lucy Lawless/Renee O'Connor Autograph Tub Photo (225217291)
$ 520 (12/28) Lucy Lawless Autograph Photo & Bracelet (226993176)
$ 760 (12/28) Lucy Lawless/Renee O'Connor Autograph Shooting Script (226995388)
$ 750 (12/28) Lucy Lawless/Renee O'Connor Autograph Giant Photo (226996653)
$ 960 (12/28) Lucy Lawless/Renee O'Connor Autograph Photo #2 (227004178)
$ 255 (12/30) Lucy Lawless/Kevin Smith Autograph Photo (228020945)
Total: $6757

That's 11 autographed items with an average price of $614.27. Given that that is the kind of profit they're making because they've made these pictures so scarce, I think fans and charities can pretty much forget donations of those autographed items. Those pictures and scripts are way too profitable.

From: Cynthia Bradshaw
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 10:07 PM
Subject: Where is Lucy?

Maybe the questions to be asked are the following: How dare you attempt to shame Lucy? Is not your organization founded on the ideals of voluntary contribution? If Lucy does or doesn't contribute, are these actions not associated with her right to freely choose regardless of negative or positive fan attention? When did Sword and Staff decide that out of all the charities available to Lucy's attention, that y'all were so much more worthy of contribution that to not do so was grist for a public attack of Lucy's character and legitimacy with her fan base?

I suppose a charitable organization can laud its contributors and spit on the one's who ignore. In these days, I wouldn't expect any moral ground to be deligently guarded. What I can't abide is any group clothing itself in ethical superiority as it meanwhile shames itself by trying to shame others. If you thought it so important that Lucy contribute to S and S, why didn't you do as you meant to, which is threaten her with repercussions if she didn't. The Moral Majortity would have been so proud of you....

From: Jennifer H
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: Where's Lucy Lawless

With all due respect (and I respect your work at Whoosh tremendously), I feel your editorial "Where's Lucy Lawless" was uncharitable.

Merriam Webster online (http://www.m-w.com/netdict.htm) defines charity as follows:

1 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
2 a : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also : aid given to those in need b : an institution engaged in relief of the poor c : public provision for the relief of the needy
3 a : a gift for public benevolent purposes b : an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift
4 : lenient judgement of others

I hope we as Xena fans can show lenient judgement of others, be they Xena cast members or fellow Xena fans.

Jennifer H.

From: Geek Grrl
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2000 9:31 PM
Subject: Editorial

First off - I want to say that your editorial was refreshing and honest - as they so often are. There are - in my mind - three areas that I as a fan am especially proud of the 'Xenaverse' for producing. The first being Whoosh/IAXS. The second is Sword and Staff and the third are a few websites of merit that have - since way back when in September of 1995 - consistently been a source of all manner of things relating to Xena.

Let me focus on the first two. You and the staff at Whoosh have always been an amazing resource in terms of archiving, collecting, collating, and indexing the entire phenomona that is the television show Xena:Warrior Princess. I realize that not many people are aware that this entire function is often performed by you (the editor) or others who give their time to Whoosh/IAXS/XMR. This on top of full time jobs and real lives. I have worked with other projects (unrelated to Xena) that do not even begin to emcompass even 1/8th of the magnitude of what Whoosh accomplishes in a given month. So on that - I give you absolute kudos!

In that vein, there is also the Sword and Staff. Mist has donated so much of her time, energy and out of pocket expenses to help facilitate funds getting to very worthwhile organizations. The Sword and Staff has always been and continues to be, in my opinion, one of the shining stars of Xena fandom. When others roll their eyes and comment on the 'nutball' factor - I can say - but these nutballs are good, generous compassionate individuals. These nutballs have donated, collectively, over 100 thousand dollars. They have raised money for charities from Pediatric AIDS to children of war. They have raised money for domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, the environment, and so much more. Sword and Staff has helped make the example of a snowflake does not know how powerful it is when there is an avalanche. For those who have never bothered to find out what Sword and Staff is Sword and Staff is a clearinghouse for fan donations to specific charities. Auctions are hosted, checks (made payable DIRECTLY to the charities) are collected and sent on. It is NOT a non-prpfit organization, or a charity for itself. It is a single point of contact for fans of Xena to be able to do a little bit of good. Oh the horror.

The point of all this? I think your editorial was dead on. Why not ask the question 'Where is Lucy Lawless?' on a list of the year in review for the premiere fan clearing house for charities. Do I think you were badgering poor Ms. Lawless-Tapert? No. And somehow, I suspect that if she felt that way, you would know in no uncertain terms. She never struck me as the shrinking violet type. Does no one else find it odd that Lucy Lawless's autographs are being sold by the 'officially licensed vendor' for 2 and 3 times what the fair market value is? Those defenders of the 'absent star' and her 'representatives' do not think there is anything mildly strange about certain items show up for 'on-line auctions' that used to ONCE be auctioned at conventions and clearly earmarked for charities? The staunch defense of the very organization that would charge 200 dollars for a Convention with no head-liners, an organization that doesn't answer pleas for charities, or people with ill children for something - anything - from the star of a show who they have 'exclusive' rights to - all of those people should be ashamed of themselves. It is not the least bit embarassing to see in a newspaper column that answers the question of 'how do I get an autograph of Lucy Lawless?' with the only way to get an autograph of the 'star' is to buy one? Most other stars can be reached via their agents or publicists.

Do I know what Lucy's position on this is? No. Do I think she is any less of a charitable person? Absolutely not, I think Lucy has a heart the size of the Grand Canyon. Do I think your editorial was calling any of her personality traits into question? No. Do I think that perhaps there is a little too much trust on Lucy's part about her 'representatives'. Yes. Why shouldn't she trust them though? That is their job after all - to protect her from 'unpleasantness.' Except they have become dictators of the gateway. How would she know that the smiles they offer her become snarls when they deal with anyone not 'important' enough to merit common courtesy. Why should she question if the mountain of scripts, press kits, and other 'rare' items that she has signed previously - which have been auctioned for charity - in the past. Why should it occur to her NOW that these items are now being given up to the highest bidder and no charity is benefitting? And shouldn't she be more cautious - after she signed so many autographs during her Grease run - only to discover that there were unscrupulous autograph collectors handing her stacks and stacks of pictures and reselling them so that she limited herself to only signing for children towards the end. Why would Lucy do that when there was access to her and NOT be willing to sign autographs for charities? I would venture - because she doesn't know.

When it is all said and done, in five years, when the X:WP show airs nightly in syndication, when the stars of the show have gone on with their lives, RenPics running business as usual, the 'officially licensed merchandisers' have dumped the Xena-fans and moved on to the next BIG thing to exploit, the next cash cow to milk for all its worth - I hope that Whoosh and Sword and Staff can still be found on the web. A testimony to the synergy of fans and members of the TV show who helped to fuel their creation way back in - when the WWW was just beginnging to explode.

Keep asking the questions - and if it makes people angry - then you must be asking the right questions. :-)


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