Whoosh! Issue 43 - April 2000
Letters to the Editor




The State of Uber

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999
From: rodeo114
Subject: State of Uber

Is there as much promise? Hmmm. Well, I think the XWP wave has crested in all aspects. We are all aware that we are looking at the beginning of the end now, hoping that the hinted at sixth season will actually appear on our screens, all pretty positive that S6 will be the end of the road. Combine the flat, dimensionally lacking characterizations this season from the show itself with a cycle that has a visible end, and it's easy to see where the momentum that sparks fanfic in general and uber in particular is grinding to a slow crawl.

I think, tho, that XWP Uber is around to stay, probably in a diminished form. It is a strange animal. With classic XWP fanfic, you have every right to expect authors to adhere to accepted, understood characterizations with roots that are visible on screen. XWP Uber, on the other hand, may stay true to demonstrated screen characterizations, or may take some very different directions in the name of evolving characters. Some authors can carry this off and still write a recognizably uber character but others are straying so far that the line of General Lesbian Fiction is probably closer than Uber XWP.

Right now, we have rants being posted by people angry that writers seem to be taking non-recognizable uber characters and giving them raven hair/blue eyes and red-blonde/green eyes and calling it Uber...AND we have rants about characters that people feel are uber based being used in commercially published fiction. When is Uber truly uber and when does uber stop being uber? I don't know, and I don't think that the dividing lines are as important as some people believe.

The X and G archetypes and general backstory are powerful. If nurturing influences for Uber writers remain visible and accessible on the net, I believe that new Uber will continue to be created for years to come, tho probably not nearly as prolifically as we've seen it. The great thing about Uber fic is that it gives writers a structure and framework to work from. Our uber fic authors will naturally move toward new and different challenges, which will mean either creating a long body of work where characters sequentially change ala Missy Good or starting to experiment with new and different characters.

I believe that in five years, we will see XWP fic and Uber fic as an IMPORTANT subgenre of Lesbian Fiction. And I believe that we will have several authors who started with XWP Uber, who learned in this corner and were championed by XWP fans and webmasters, writing some really strong General Lesbian Fiction. And we definitely need MORE good solid well written lesbian fiction.

Bottom line: IMHO Uber and Uber-esque XWP fic will continue to be influential for a long time to come. Production quantity will decrease, but this is an important specialty area of lesbian fiction.

Another thing to remember is that the net is changing consumer "viewing" patterns. In a few years, we will likely see a proliferation of serialization aimed at every reader niche imaginable...Think Novan-Muir-et al "Exposure" series...!!! The net is changing fiction as we know it!!!





Joxer Corner

From: Jon Jackson
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000

I'm a recent emigre to the Xenaverse and Whoosh! having only recently found this site a few weeks ago despite being an avid fan of XWP since season 1. So, excuse my desire to beat a dead horse. Virtually everyone writing in this month's "Joxer Corner" (Feb 2000, issue 41) and Jennifer Waldeau's article, Why Joxer is Seen as a Threat and Other Problems (issue 26, Nov 1998) address the issue of Joxer being a threat because he wants/trys to replace Xena. Most dismiss Joxer's role as comic relief or think that he should be visibly disabled (or fat) to show that he's not threatening or taken seriously. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned (or noticed) that he's mirroring Xena. Not seeking to dethrone her as everyone clucks about. He's to Xena as Don Quixote is to the chivalrous knight. He has a dark side (he was a mercenary to Callisto for gods' sake!) and has well-intended but absurd armor. Although Joxer fights wholeheartedly w/ our heroines, his only kill was an accident. He pines for Gabrielle but frequents the whorehouse (and dates a potty-mouthed madam). Don Quixote pined for the saintly Dulcinea who was in fact a prostitute. Sub-text aside, Xena "pines" for Gabrielle but sleeps w/ big, oily bohunks who happen to be that week's guest stars (Iolus was just bait). Other than being old and senile, there was nothing physically stopping Don Quixote from killing his "enemies". So Joxer appears to be able to gallantly defeat his foes-he never does. As for Ted Raimi's appropriateness for the role, he's not made up to look "handsome" or even physically fit. He's pale, has stringy hair and is quite thin.

I like Joxer's appearances more than I did Salmoneus' and at least as much as Autolycus'. By the way, why is it that when Autolycus dies, instead of reincarnating into a higher being or lower being, he came back as the same jerk in Yankee tights (Jack Styles)?! Jest wonderin'. . .

Kim,
recent mother of a demi-god







Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000
Subject: Joxer nonsense
From: Bat Morda

Thank you for stating the Gabrielle/Joxer romance is nonsense. You could have added lame and painful to watch but I realize your need to exercise restraint. I, however am not constrained by such rules of decorum and find it impossible to think Gabrielle would fall for any character that makes her I.Q. go down 80 points every time he's in a scene with her. I realize it takes all kinds and there are some souls out there who found Married With Fishpoo funny. Hard to believe a show that gave us Remember Nothing, Lost Mariner, The Quest, A Necessary Evil to mention a very few gave us that...

Anyway, thank you for calling nonsense what it is. You also could mention that Callisto was the episode that saddled us with that lame-assed character in the first place. You know, Joxer wouldn't be so bad if he weren't shoehorned into an episode every freekin time we turn around. Yeah- he's had his moments- but my heart would grow fonder with some absence Isn't Ted Rami desperately needed on Jack of All Trades??

Best Wishes,
/|\^..^/|\
Bat Morda







Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000
From: Charmer
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Duanne Walton wrote: "Say what you will about Joxer, at least he never dragged Gabrielle across the countryside trying to kill her." and: "Explain to me again WHY a Joxer/Gabrielle would be so bad."

Because Gabrielle has told him clearly, several times, that she doesn't want it. No means no. As to the dragging - good point; but that still doesn't make her want him, apparently.

Cathy






Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000
From: Rob Lent
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Judgements of what is, and what is not nonsense ought to be placed in opinion pieces, and not in something that should be objective - unless "Today in the Universe" is just an opinion piece?

Your claim that FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS started the GJ romance "nonsense" is opinion, not fact. There isn't evidence that Joxer was in love with Gabrielle before the events in COMEDY OF EROS. Why would it be such an unusual thing for someone to fall in love with someone after the other person has expressed their feelings? It happens all the time in real life.

If your position were correct, that it is implausible that someone would fall in love over the course of one episode, then the same thing would be the case for FHTBT, and would require that Joxer had been in love with Gabrielle prior to that episode, and so on backwards to Joxer's first appearance, which would mean that it had to have been love at first sight.

Some people claim to have seen evidence that Joxer was in love with Gabrielle in any number of episodes prior to CoE. These are just opinions, as is your opinion that it began in FHTBT.

There is no evidence that Joxer was in love with Gabrielle during FHTBT. Was Joxer's bell-induced actions toward Gabrielle any different from his actions toward any of the other women in this episode? No, it was not. In CoE, does Joxer's intial reactions toward Gabrielle's attentions? He doesn't respond as if he is in love with her or even welcomes her attention at first. In my opinion he was not in love with her at this point.

Your facts are generally pretty straight, when they are indeed facts.

Rob Lent






Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000
From: J. Collins Fisher
Subject: Letter to Editor

I have read the complaints of GJers about their dismissal by Whoosh! (and other large portions of the Xenaverse) with great interest. It seems to me that a logically constructed presentation by their opponents (usually known as "subtexters") could be clarifying on all sides. In all humility, I have attempted such a presentation---though of course, I speak only for myself.

This presentation will list the assumptions and result(s) of the antagonists towards the GJers. Please bear with the acronyms!

*Assumptions of Subtexters*

1. Heterosexism---i.e. the actualized belief that heterosexuality is the sole approved norm---is (morally) WRONG.

2. Nevertheless, the _population and culture where XWP is broadcast_ (PCXB) is overwhelmingly heterosexist. (The Netherlands excluded, Petra!)

3. The heterosexist majority of the PCXB oppresses an _anti-heterosexist righteous minority_ (AHRM).

4. a.The Xenaverse (population that regularly views and discusses XWP) exists within the larger PCXB.
    b.There is a larger percentage of the AHRM in the Xenaverse than in the PCXB as a whole.

5. a.The AHRM _deserve_ better---_including better media representation_ (DBMR) of themselves and their (same-sex) relationships. This would offer some small relief from their overall oppression.
    b. Nevertheless, such DBMR remains exceptional (i.e. rare).

6. Many of the AHRM within the Xenaverse believe(d) that XWP, through its lead characters (X&G) and their relationship, is this exceptional DBMR. As such, it provided some small relief.

7. GJers, by asserting a heterosexual (hence, unexceptional) relationship between Gabrielle and Joxer, deny this DBMR to the AHRM.

8. Therefore, GJers would deny this exceptional, small relief to the AHRM. They thus add to an already-heavy load of oppression.

9. GJers seem oblivious to their adding to the oppression of the AHRM.

*Result: The AHRM within the Xenaverse who view XWP as DBMR (aka "subtexters") become extremely resentful towards, if not p*ssed off at, the GJers. This leads to dismissive comments ("GJ nonsense") and regrettably, insulting characterizations ("GJers are idiots").

I hope this, um, manifesto(?) provides grounds for discussion with the end of greater light and less heat. I am sure that some GJers will dispute some of the assumptions, as will (no doubt!) some subtexters.

To reduce misunderstanding, let me clarify one thing. I in no way am implying that one cannot be both part of the AHRM and a GJer, simply that in denying XWP to be a DBMR ("they're straight!"), one denies the AHRM (subtexters, beleagered in the heterosexist world at large) some small relief.

AlciBIades

P.S. FWIW, depending on his characterization, I frequently enjoy Joxer, particularly in Xena-lite eps (e.g. "For Him The Bell Tolls", "The Quill is Mightier" and "The Play's the Thing"), the look-a-like eps (WPT & WPT2) and my all-time fave comedy, "Been There, Done That."






Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000
From: Shelley Sullivan
Subject: Letter To The Editor

First, kudos for the addition of Today In Xenaverse History. I've found them enjoyable and sometimes very amusing. As for the umbrage and personal offence some fans appear to have taken with the 'Joxer/Gabrielle nonsense' observation, as Ben Franklin said "If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed." I found the comment amusing, referring as it did to two fictional characters, and in no way directed toward fans. In fact, I look forward to the immortalizing of the beginning of the 'Xena/Gabrielle nonsense'.

Secondly, Duanne Walton, (Letter to the Editor, Jan 31, 2000) asked:

"Explain to me again WHY a Joxer/Gabrielle would be so bad."

I have several reasons, but one has come to the forefront during the fifth season. Ted Raimi describes Joxer thusly:

"The other thing that's appealing is that he's like a big 15-year-old, and that's how I play him. His mind stopped developing at 15, but he pretends to be 30. If you ever found Joxer alone for 10 minutes, you would probably find him with a pre-Hellenic comic book, eating a donut."

Fifteen year old boys do not appeal to me, nor do I have any interest in them. If I wanted to watch this age group, I'd tune into the afterschool specials. I have no interest in viewing a "relationship" between a woman and a boy. Chronological age aside, as Ted Raimi describes Joxer's emotional age, I can't help but think that, had Solan lived, he would be approximately 2 years younger, emotionally, than Joxer. Picture, if you will, Gabrielle having a relationship with Solan. That is the image I receive when "Joxer/Gabrielle romance" comes to the fore. In my opinion, it could be argued that Solan showed more emotional maturity when he realized who and what he wasn't (ORPHAN OF WAR), than Joxer has currently reached.

If I wanted to watch a "relationship" between a woman and a boy, skewed as it would be to accomodate a vast difference in maturity and emotional development, I'd be scanning the video rental shelves, not watching Xena.

Shelley Sullivan





Calendar 2000

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000
From: Linda Musgrave
Subject: details

Loved the Dead Calendar for 2000....

Just one thing, Didn't Gabrielle also die in Been There Done That? =)

Thalia

Oops. You are right.

Kym Taborn, editor-in-chief





When Should XENA End?

From: Charles Mento
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000
Subject: when?

I have to ask this and I don't mean to offend. But when is XENA going off the air? I really feel it should have ended after THE BITTER SUITE. Okay there have been some really good episodes after that but that sort of wrapped up the relationship thing. But lately, again, despite some good episodes, XENA continues to be either very campy or very grim. What prompted me to write this? The current episode where they felt the need to mention Amarice was dead. Enough. Not happy in killing off and ruining the ending of HERCULES' last season, XENA felt the need to kill off a much beloved character. Yes, it does make her world more dangerous...but we knew that already. Ephiny, now Amarice, Hera just when she was likable, Zeus--a baby killer? I thought I had the seen the worst episode when the second musical was aired...how bad can Xena get? I think the production team is determined to find out. Why can't Autolycus have had a decent serious story in two years? Why can't Salmoneus return and possibly team with Joxer? Joxer continues to be a clown despite some headway in not being one. Now Xena travels around and fights...with a baby who was last seen by me playing with one of Gab's knives! What a joke and what a terrible show it has become. HERC ended on a happy note and while I was glad to see the characaters and "gods" from that show return in XENA it was only to reverse that happy ending (okay the acting and the ep was good but mostly due to the novelty of having Herc on XENA again after how many years awas it?). And the Amazons are old by now. They are boring and I could care less about them and their rites and rituals. Move on, XENA, give us something new and/or die off! Sorry to be so negative but I felt this show could have been something so good but it's become old hat and dull now. It doesn't even make sense any more. Oh well, at least we got to see Solan "alive" again.

What happened to the fun? The fast pace, the action? The relevancy? The balance between comedy and action and meaning all in one episode?





Kudos

From: OTIS03090
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000
Subject: Thanks

Hey, I know this site must be a lot of work for you, but thanks - I really get a kick out of the reviews and comments. Thanks.

Alana






Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000
From: Mound57
Subject: No Subject

Hi, I have recently found "Whoosh" and have gone through all the back issues. My favorite articles have been your interviews with people in the show. It is interesting to learn what goes on behind the scene and what else they have done with their life. The detailed research you did about the chakram was very educational. It does not seem like twirling the chakram around the finger would create enough force to hurt someone. Your own bio is very interesting as well as your experience as an extra.

Thank you and keep it up.

Phil M.





CLEOPATRA 2525

Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2000
From: Virginia V Kelly
Subject: Cleo Review

LOL, what a fun, quick review [see WHOOSH Episode Guide CLEOPATRA 2525 section].

By the way, I thought I had read quotes from Stewart that The Voice may have a dark background. He was real vague about whether the voice was ultimately good or not. Perhaps that's what they're building to. A few eps ago The Voice did something similar about "leaving" someone behind.

Interesting.






Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000
From: S Dye
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I don't know if anyone has pointed this out already or not, but Elizabeth Hawthorne, who does the voice of, well, Voice on Cleopatra 2525 also played Alcmene, Hercules' mother, in some early Herc episodes. At least, it's the same name, so I guess it's the same person.

Sally Dye

Yes, it is the same person. Lucy Lawless was the voice in the pilot, but was later dubbed out when the pilot was released as an episode.

Kym Taborn, editor-in-chief





Fishsticks Studies

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000
From: Beth Cavert
Subject: Letter to the Editor

"Welcome to Whoosh!, the Journal of the International Association of Married with Fishsticks Studies. Here you will find essays, articles, commentaries, and various analyses of the television show Xena: Warrior Princess (XWP) or will you, hmmmm?"

love those Schtudies!!!





Early Continuity Problems

Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000
From: dafydd apthomas
Subject: Deamworker

I read your review in Whoosh. You are right about the suddenness of Xena's commitment to Gabrielle. It jars.

On my video, I put Dreamworker AFTER Cradle of Hope because that makes more sense. In Sins and Chariots, Gabrielle is mostly the useless tag-along. And then all of a sudden Xena is offering her life to save her. But in Cradle for the first time they work as a team. Then the commitment works.





Girls Just Wanna Be Batman??

From: Virginia Kelly
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2000
Subject: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Just saw your new stuff up. This is one of my fave "fun" eps. I was scrolling through the words to the rap and came upon this line:

"To go dancing with the devil by the pale moonlight"

Now, maybe this is a oft-repeated phrase, I don't know. But I do know it's a critical phrase in the Batman (Michael Keaton) Joker (Jack Nicholas) face off. When Joker murders Batman's parents he says "do you want to dance with the devil by the pale moonlight" and either he or Batman repeats the phrase years later in their final, big confrontation.





Disclaimers

Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000
From: Joan Greenfield
Subject: disclaimers

Love Whoosh! Thanks for all the work you do for us fans.

Have discliamers been dropped from the show, or are they just droppped from your episode guide? I've been missing them...

Joan Greenfield

Unfortunately our staffpeople who furnished the disclaimers for us have gotten the heck out of Dodge. We are looking for someone to replace them and continue the flow of disclaimers!

Kym Taborn, editor-in-chief





Convention Tip!

From: Holly L
Subject: Letters to the Editor
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000

If you are going to the Creation Con in Orlando on the Memorial weekend and do not want to stay at the Delta Orlando there is another option. A number of people who stayed at the Delta last year were not impressed with the hotel or the service they provided. As a result, we made a group booking at the Radisson Twin Towers which is within walking distance to the Delta. Cost per night is $85.00.

If you are interested in more information and details on how to book: http://members.home.com/merpups/hotel.htm

Thanks!

Holly




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