Whoosh! Issue 41 - February 2000
Letters to the Editor

From: Susan Eigen
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 4:34 AM
Subject: Lucy Lawless and Sword and Staff

Your essay comes from the heart of a caring person. However, as Mary D. points out in her remarks (www.ausxip.com), Ms. Lawless does make a contribution to the concept of charity, by giving herself - in personal appearances and appeals - and by funding various charitable or nonprofit enterprises.

I believe Ms. Lawless to be a good person. It shows in what she brings to her portrayal of that fictional character who has found a way into our hearts. So, if she has not donated any item to Sword and Staff, I have to believe that there is a good reason for this.

At any rate, charity is charity, and I'd say that "our" Ms. Lawless evinces the spirit of caring and compassion that imbues the true Xenite.

Yours truly,
Susan Eigen

From: julie gratian
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 4:56 AM
Subject: RE: Where's Lucy?

I read your editorial. I feel that maybe you have lost touch? Recheck yourself. Are you doing Sword and Staff for for all fans? Or for self gratification that Lucy knows you exist? You are not being fair to her or others that view her and the show as a way to make their days a bit brighter.

I have terminal cancer...I have NEVER self pitied myself as much you have in that editorial. RECHECK yourself or.......get a remote control and change channels.


From: Scott Jarrod
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 4:30 AM
Subject: Where's Lucy Lawless

After spending the better part of a day re-reading some of the mail resting in my inbox for the past several weeks, I thought I'd drop you a few lines about your last editorial. If nothing else, it was provacative.

I was surprised that your comments provoked the flood of outrage that was vented on the lists. Not because it wasn't a topic worthy of discussion, I just didn't expect to see so much anger expressed over it. It struck me as bizarre that so many fans seemed to have missed your point entirely. Instead of getting their interest piqued about whether or not Lucy is even being informed of fan requests (and Sword and Staff's autograph requests in particular) some fans chose instead to go off about Lucy's charitible activities and the fact that she doesn't owe her fans anything but a performance. While in theory that may be correct, it seems to me not even giving Sword and Staff a nod by donating an item or two is out character for her, and that her very nature is what made the questions you raise valid ones.

Most of the reaction I've seen has been emotional rather than analytical, with many fans apparently thinking they need to protect or defend Lucy Lawless from what they perceive as attacks on her character. I think that perhaps those fans are so taken by the actress's public persona that they react in a kneejerk fashion to any criticism leveled at her. While their loyalty is to be commended, their judgment appears to be questionable. No one is above being questioned, particularly those who choose to live their lives in the public eye. But Lucy Lawless isn't the issue here. Lawless fans should be questioning the actions of her representatives and taking them to task because it appears that they haven't doing their jobs.

Just this week, Lucy posted a thank you note for fan donations made in honor of her son. It was a lovely and heartfelt thank you to fans for their efforts. However, it appears that the message about the donations was passed on after all the commotion over your editorial, and the information Lucy got from Sharon seems to have been filtered to eliminate any reference to Sword and Staff. Sharon's posts to the lists and NetForum certainly make no mention of Sword and Staff. Chakram #9 makes no reference of Sword and Staff participating in raising funds for Julius. As a result, Lucy's note makes no reference of Sword and Staff either. Is that just coincidence? Certainly doesn't look to be.

Given the time and effort Lucy took to write and thank those responsible, I don't think she'd intentionally slight Sword and Staff. It happened because from what Sharon said she told her, it looks like Lucy didn't know about Sword and Staff. And that may answer your question as to why there are no autographed pictures forthcoming from her for Sword and Staff auctions. Certainly from the tone of her note, it isn't because she disapproves of what is being done by Sword and Staff in her name. Quite the contrary. So why wouldn't she contribute? Probably because she doesn't know she has been asked.

Your editorial was very strongly worded and very pointed, and perhaps that is what set off so many fans. But your points are well taken, and you ask questions that deserve answers. I hope the distraction of irrelevant issues that have been introduced into the online discussion don't make that impossible. I think you are on target. Lucy's not getting information and the people she trusts to look out for her public image aren't doing that. That is far more detrimental to a performer's public image and well being than anything said on a fan website, no matter how good or influential that site is thought to be.

Scott Jarrod

From: KaninaLA
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 3:11 PM
Subject: Lucy Lawless Editorial

I am completely appalled by your direct attack on Lucy Lawless. I am also amazed that you would think that any X:WP fan wouldn't notice that her name was not on Sword and Staff's contributor list. Of course we noticed, but to tell you the truth, I did not pass judgement.

I think it is very generous of X:WP fans to contribute to charitable organizations and if they have contributed only since becoming X:WP fans, than all of those organizations should be grateful to those who contribute to the production of the show. However, I believe the fans were already the kind of people who give to others. Just because the fans give in the show's name in no way obligates Lucy Lawless to give in the name of Sword and Staff. There should be no attempts to hold Lucy Lawless hostage to others ideas of what and to whom she should contribute. From all that I have read and seen Lucy Lawless contributes plenty. Also, don't forget that announcing to the world that you've given can diminish the act of true giving and generosity.

As for your comment about promotional items that are produced and sold, if the fans stop buying them, trust me, they would stop making them. So instead of criticizing Lucy Lawless, why don't you criticize the people who buy them. They could have contributed that money to charities too. While checking out eBay two days ago, I noticed a copy of the episode, The Way, going for over $400. I'm sure a charity could use that money. But instead, fans were ferociously trying to outbid each other.

Lastly, I would like to state, that I have never read or heard Lucy Lawless say one uncharitable word about the public or any fan. And I'm sure there have been some wackos out there. Last I heard she even had her husband, Rob Tapert, take a picture of her and a fan down in Wellington, NZ, outside of some awards show. Not many people of her caliber of popularity can wear that badge.

I hope that all those X:WP fans who gave through Sword and Staff don't feel as you do. That would be a sad comment on the Xenaverse.

Carrissa Villalobos
Los Angeles, CA

From: cR
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 2:15 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I'm sorry to be writing this letter - I'd much rather be complimenting you on the size of Issue 40 and the content. But the first reminder I had that this issue of Whoosh! was out was a mailing-list message headed 'Whoosh! attacks Lucy!!' And, having read your Editorial, I'm afraid that's what it looks like. I'm sure that wasn't your intention, but that's the overall impression I got from it.

I don't believe a fan-run charity can demand support from the stars or anybody else - isn't charity supposed to be a voluntary and personal thing? Trying to coerce _anybody_ to donate tarnishes that.

There may be reasons why LL's name is not on that list. If she has for whatever reason decided to put her support elsewhere, this is not the way to persuade her otherwise. If she is unaware of S&S's requirements, then this is not the way to tell her. If her absence from the list 'embarrasses her fans' (as you put it) surely publicising it isn't going to help. If there was no other way to reach LL (assuming it does reach her) - then, really, was it worth it?

It's put LL and S&S in a no-win situation - if she does donate in future it will look like she was forced into it, and S&S 'extorted' her support. I suspect if Gillian Anderson had known that her support would be used to make the star of another show look bad, she might have preferred to donate elsewhere.

I'd much rather be saying how much I laughed at your 'Interviews with the Dead' (which I did, albeit with a slightly sad feeling), but I just can't get past that editorial. It just wasn't as good-humoured or - darn it - charitable as we've come to expect from the editor of Whoosh.

(It also started a couple of promising flame wars on the mailing lists, but then _everything_ starts flame wars on mailing lists.)


From: Acean - Warrior Poet
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 9:40 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Whoosh Attacked Lucy!!!

There seems to be quite a controversy around The Xenaverse (as a community) lately. All reportedly spurned from the January 2000 editorial of Kym Masera Taborn.

First of all, I would like to say that all this uproar doesn't surprise me in the least nor will the flames and nasty emails I'll garner from my addition here to this "Xenite Bon Fire of Opinions."

This is again, as I have always pointed out, another case of "Xenite Hypocrisy." Haven't any of you ever noticed the "Do as I say, Not as I do!" mentality of the good number of Xenites in the Xenaverse Community?

I have witnessed it up close and personal on many occasions since my creation of The Web site XENADOM: The Otherside of Xenaverse.

Case in fact is the way that the XAC (Xenites Against Censorship) popped up when "The Way" was pulled by TPTB, yet some of their very members refused a mere link to XENADOM due to the overall theme of the site. (Lesbianism, Xena, bdsm, hard core fantasy, etc) Infact when I requested a link on The Athenaeum @ Xenafiction.Net I was turned down by "bardeyes" due to the content/theme issue again yet according to their "What's New of Monday Dec 21, 1999 this very same site posted one of the Author's (hosted on XENADOM) graphic BDSM story.

Well, I, Acean - Warrior Poet want to go on record as saying the following; some in response to posts I read on The Xenaverse Mailing List and some just in general:

1. Kym has the right to her opinion and there really isn't much honor in raking her over the coals over it especially if you're one of those Xenites currently displaying a "blue ribbon" on your site. My advice to those who want to attack Kym or her write to freedom of speech: "Go Quickly!! hurry take that ribbon down right now before someone sees it!!! Then you can bitch out Kym all you like and look righteous at the same time!!!"

2. Someone on The Xenaverse mailing list said Lucy was obligated due to the concept of "Noblesse Oblige".. Well for those of you who don't know what that means, it simply means "nobility obligates". It denotes the obligation of honorable and generous behavior by persons of "high rank of birth". Lucy is just a person, a human, and it's this unreal belief to the contrary that probably scares her the most, and hence brings on the need to be "protected" by Creation, I'm sure. Lucy isn't a queen, or royalty, or even a princess in real life. She's a woman with children who has been through divorce, tried drugs, been short of cash, smoked cigarettes, traveled abroad trying to find herself, yada yada.. I can relate to most of the above, can't you? What is my opinion? Lucy is very Noble in the fact that she doesn't HAM it up. And she gives generously AT HOME which falls into how most of us was raised. (charity begins at home) And of charity? Is it truly noble and honorable of us to DEMAND people to be charitable? I say no, honor would dictate that we give twice our share to compensate. Maybe this honor thing wasn't a good argument after all, huh?? *eg*

3. As for the people who have been writing and flaming MaryD for her editorial on her disappointment in Whoosh, again, people.... (smile) She has the same freedom of speech and expression Kym has. And for those who say that it's all the MaryD groupies defending her... I think NOT! I haven't been a big MaryD fan in the past, we have butted heads plenty times, but one thing I can say about MaryD is she is a "TRUE FAN" to the very meaning of the word. Let see what is a fan anyway? In the early 90's a very rookie player now well known in baseball said: "Being a fan means that you should be one in every situation. ALWAYS. Fans believe in their teams, the team spirit and in the abilities of its members. And when your team loses you may criticize it for poor defense, bad pitching....but you (as a fan) shouldn't pick (a) certain player(s) to blame for the loss. It's a team loss." For those blasting MaryD and Kym, and XENADOM's Theme and India's right to protest, yadda yadda, just shows me that either you don't truly get it!

In conclusion, the only right side in this really is the right of free speech, the right of freedom of expression. If we start censoring each other, we shall all be enslaved!! (and not in the fun kinky way either!) :P


From: P.Tirabasso
Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2000 7:32 PM
Subject: Whoosh editorial nose dived.

"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."

I'm sorry Kym, but public humiliation from editorials don't do a thing for me. I have always thought of S&S as a fan run/fan contributed group. I have to disagree with you on your feelings of Lucy's needed involvement. Knowing that this was a fan run/contributing group, I don't believe Lucy has any obligations toward S&S any further than contributions in the form of her thank you notes and kind words.

Pat Tirabasso

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