Whoosh! Issue 44 - May 2000
Letters to the Editor

Exploding Subtext

From: cR
Subject: 'Exploding subtext' and Callisto
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2000

'Exploding Subtext' and Callisto

Minor point in relation to Stacey Capps' interesting summary of subtexts - the Herc ep JUDGEMENT DAY didn't feature Callisto, SURPRISE did. The Hind trilogy (which culminated in Judgement Day) followed immediately after SURPRISE.

As Stacey says, ARMAGEDDON NOW did indeed feature Callisto, and the goddess was magnificent in it. She seemed to be developing a love/hate relationship of her own with Ares, though it was rapidly revealed to be more hate than love.

Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000
From: Xian Pu
Subject: Re: "Exploding Subtext"

I wish to thank Stacey Capps for an excellent article examining the different subtexts on the show! I find all of them fascinating (although I don't necessarily follow all of them) and hadn't even thought about several of the pairings she put forth (in particular Widow Twanky and Hercules)!

The article seemed quite exhaustive to me, and I just wanted to let Stacey know that I appreciated the extensive work which must have gone into it. I, too, look with hope to a time when different subtext beliefs can be held and discussed without fear of attack on any parts; sadly I fear that day may never come, but I keep my fingers crossed that your essay and others like it may continue to come out and prove me wrong.

Thank you!

Thanks so much for your kind words! I hope you will enjoy looking at old Xena and Hercules episodes in new ways.

It seems that even the most open-minded people are not aware of all the alternative subtext pairings and ideas out there. My essay would never have been possible without input from numerous literate and unusual people from the newsgroup alt.tv.xena-subtext.misc. They reviewed my work months before it was published, and I added several sections due to their input.

If you think about it, you have many people to thank for the exhaustiveness of my essay. And so do I. The internet provides as many chances for contructive discussion as it does opportunities for argument. I thank them (and you) for being determined to make the best out of the time we spend in the Xenaverse.

Stacey Capps

April Fools 2000

From: Inga
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000
Subject: LOL

Great April issue! What happened to "The saving of XWP - on the importance of Joxer and why Ted Raimi dserves an Oscar"?


Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000
From: Mary Hill
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Congratulations! This April Fools' Day article list is the funniest ever. I especially loved the GabDahakRomanticSociety. Oh why must April 1st come only once a year? Now I'm depressed. More pie fights please!

April's Editorial

From: Jules
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000
Subject: Thank you! To: brudnick@head-cfa.harvard.edu

Your editorial on Whoosh website was a gentle surprise with it's humanistic message. Thank you for sharing!



I do enjoy reading WHOOSH and check in two or three times a week to see what's new. It's my fave spot to check for news on Xena and my fave "critic" is Beth Gaynor's comments on each show. I don't always agree with her, but she says things that I wouldn't know of if she didn't mention it.

The one thing I wish the captioning for the show would include is the sound effects. It took me forever to figure out why the heck you are called "whoosh". A hearing friend explained that the show is full of special sound effects and one is related to the chakram's sound. Ah! "Whoosh"!!! So, that's what it means! Nice choice! smiles.

I do hope Whoosh won't do to us what Tom did and close the page...no matter how "bad" the show's writing gets.

Today in the Xenaverse

From: Angie
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000
Subject: updated Whoosh design

Kym--just a quick note to say nice job on the addition of Today in the Xenaverse. It's worth 10 attagirls... I enjoy reading it. Love the droll comments, eg those for "Tsunami" this week. I love the fact that Whoosh is a fan site that has the chutzpah to acknowledge that not everything about a show is perfect. There are other sites--for other shows as well as our girls'--that just gush all over everything. There's room for a healthy dialogue about every show, and Whoosh is one of the few sites to provide that dialogue. It'll be a sad day for us all when you decide to hang up your keyboard.

You--and the rest of the crew--put an incredible amount of time and energy into this labor of love. One can't say thanks often enough.

Keep up the great work.


Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000
From: J. Collins Fisher
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I know how natural it is for editors to opine, and how much y'all deserve to have your say for all your hard work and encyclopedic knowledge of everything Xena. But will you please restrict editorial opinion to clearly marked "opinion" pieces? By this I mean editorials ('natch), articles and letters.

I first noticed some "editorial creep" in little things like the photo tags. Then of course there's the April Fool's "All Positive!" edition: ha, ha joke's on me. Hey, if J/Gers have to take their ribbing, I suppose diehards like myself are due as well. The "This day in the Xenaverse" commentary/critique, however:_this_ is too much. It's fine for an editor to hate "FF&G" (for example): add your barbs to the episode guide. I do not think they belong in as light-hearted a venue as "this day in . . ." though. "This day" is a delightful new feature. However, coming at the top of the homepage, it behooves Whoosh! to not take (anonymous?) controversial positions here, which could be misconstrued as "Official Whoosh!/IAXS policy."

I would appreciate some consideration (by you wonderful editors) of these concerns.


J. Collins Fisher/AlciBIades

Xena Media Review's (XMR) 4th Anniversary

From: Trish Shields
Subject: Re: [xmr] Oh, by the way..
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000

Now THAT is impressive.


From: Jack
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000
Subject: Re: [xmr] Oh, by the way..

Major Congratulations for doing a stunningly obsessively complusive job over the years!! Gawd D*mm (as we say back home), it's sure nice to know someone who can be counted on to do good work...

All my best, and keep it up, Kiddo!


From: Rick
Subject: Re: [xmr] Oh, by the way..
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000

Congratulations. I love reading all the cool stuff you send my way! Thanks!

Gabriologist since the late 20th Century
What a guy!
"Look at all this stuff they're writing about us, Xena!" --Gabrielle, checking her One List postings
"Put it on Digest, Gabrielle, or your head will swell up!" --Xena

Date: 01 Apr 2000
From: Carolyn Casey
Subject: Re: [xmr] Oh, by the way..

This is a great service.

Thanks, Kym for putting together this list. It's a lot of hard work, but for someone who doesn't get to the newsstand as often as I'd like, it's perfect. I especially like to see what other states and countries are saying about my favorite subject.

The majority of the time you list just the article, but I love it when you add your two dinars of interpretation. There was one article from somewhere in the Midwest US about 3 average guys who listed Xena as their favorite TV show. Your preface was priceless.

Keep 'em coming. And thanks again for all your efforts.


March's Editorial

From: Suzanne Goodman
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000
Subject: march whoosh editorial

You and others writing to Whoosh or the Chakram mailing list have advanced many possible reasons for XWP's ratings decline: the show and its characters have evolved considerably since the first two beloved seasons; too much/too little subtext; too much Joxer; the bizarre spiritual stew (Dahak arc, India arc, Judeo-Christian arc, multiple afterlife venues, etc.) that edged too close for comfort to present-day religious practice and prejudice; the GabDrag; loss of good writers and temporary ascendency of Orci/Kurtzman; ill-advised comedies; Gabby as pacifist/Gabby as Gabinator; wildly shifting station schedules, and on and on. It seems each episode has at least one venomous detractor. Indeed, the venom, spite, contempt and flaming that the show generates between those of differing opinion has also been blamed for the loss of fans. I'm sure each of these reasons, and more, have caused fans to depart. That some are raucously slamming the door might be testament to the strength of their [lost] love for the show.

Personally, I have loved this show from the first episode. From the opening credits, I knew I was seeing something totally different from anything else then on television. It was groundbreaking in its use of music, scenery, cinematography, humor, drama and character development. Sure, there's been plenty to exasperate me--the Dahak arc, the crucifixion obsession, the loss of great characters like Ephiny--but there's nothing better out there for me. Have the characters changed? Sure they have. They've practically telegraphed it this season: They're a family now. The dramatic tensions of the getting-to-know-you phase of their relationships are over. These characters have the relaxed, take-for-granted attitudes of family members, and I include Joxer here. I am indifferent to whether or not there is a subtext spin to these relationships, or to whom one regards as the old married couple. I see Joxer as a great friend whose longings will go forever unrequited and this adds to his pathos. But for all of them the zing and passion of the unfamiliar must, by now, give way to the comfortable and familiar. Perhaps this is something that's disturbing fans who want explicit Romance. Lucy's pregnancy also had to have an unavoidable sobering effect on the romance quotient of XWP. Yes, it's great to have a preggo warrior princess still kicking butt, but I have a suspicion that a lot of disenchanted fans want just that: enchantment, romance and the frisson of sexual danger. Well, that's been on the back burner this season, with the exception of Xena's Ares dream vision.

That XWP's ratings are sinking is a pity, but I think the lion's share of blame must rest squarely with RenPics, Studio USA and the various stations carrying the show. I have worked in marketing and promotion for 15 years. When you lose customers, you get others to replace them. And you do that by promoting vigorously. There are still plenty of fans out there who like the show just fine. Some drop out, so you promote your show to find other potential fans. Well, I haven't seen vigorous promotion in a long time. I'm talking about print ads, television appearances by the stars, prime-time commercials, a redesign of the awful official website with something more than links to merchandise catalogs, magazine articles in mainstream publications. Entertainment Weekly has multiple mentions of the awful (to me) Buffy every week, including a Buffy Special Issue. How about getting some buzz for XWP? I know that syndication vs. network shows put XWP at a disadvantage, but there was buzz during the first two seasons. Where are RenPics publicists? Why do they still have jobs? It seems to me that they've been relying too strongly on the fans to do their promoting for them, for free. The fans, meanwhile, are increasingly preaching to their own choirs.

I'd just like to see XWP go out with a bang, not a whimper--whether it's after five-and-a-half, six or however many seasons they'd care to give us fans--with strong heroines, strong stories and a strong audience.

Kind regards,
Suzanne Goodman

January Editorial

From: Shirl
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000
Subject: January Editorial

Now that you gals got what you wanted from Lucy Lawless, and because Sword and Staff stands to make a lot of money for charity from Lucy's autographs, don't you think it's time you removed your defamatory editorial about Lucy from your Whoosh site...this is the hurtful editorial where you labeled Lucy as "cheap" and "an embarrassment to her fans". Lucy Lawless has never been those things and we all know it. Now she's proved it even more by being exceedingly generous and gracious to you. But that's her nature.

I hope she's never read your insulting editorial and any of the resultant 'flaming' it spawned. To ensure that she never does, please show a little class and have the decent good grace to remove the editorial from your site.

It's the fair thing to do.

Thank you for listening.


Relic Hunter, What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks

Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000
From: Jane C
Subject: episdoe guide inquiry

Kym, good for you for making it to Jay Leno! But sorry, I didn't spot you onscreen. :)

Anyway, I have a question about the episode guide. No offense, but why are you adding Relic Hunter in? It's basically a copycat show and I don't see why you need to put that in.


Copycat show???? Oh, you wound me. It just so happens that I find RELIC HUNTER to be a fun, feminist, gender-bending, clever, refreshing, entertaining, and worthy successor to XENA. Sydney Fox in many ways reminds me of the first season Xena, and further reminds me of what I find so likeable about both characters. And did I say Nigel is a hoot? (However, my husband's fascination with Claudia escapes me at this time).

Who truly understands our needs as cyberbeings? RELIC HUNTER has called to me, and I have listened, much to my pleasure and joy.

Kym Masera Taborn

P.S. I was the person in the plaid that shook Jay Leno's hand (April 11, 2000 episodes with Lucy Lawless).

Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000
From: Mike Lewis
Subject: Whoosh: Relic Hunter guide

Whoo-hoo! I use the episode guides all the time, but (duh!) this is the first time I've noticed y'alls have a Relic Hunter guide! Cool! Thank you! Thank You! THANK YOU!


YES!!! Someone else likes the show. HAPPY DANCE!

Kym Masera Taborn

P.S. Life can be cruel for the Lonely Hunter (fan).

The Boo-Boo Corner

I wish this were about Yogi's little pal, but it is about a letter to the editor that was buried somewhere in my inbox that I only just recently excavated. I now run it, shamefully late.

Kym Masera Taborn

From: J. Kirk
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 1999

No Criticism Allowed?

In a July Letter to the Editor, I endeavored to express my opinion of Xena: Warrior Princess. I tried to explain why I no longer care for the show. I tried to back up everything I said with examples from the show as well as the words of TPTB themselves. I used to really love and enjoy watching this show. I no longer do. I tried to express why.

I was accused of being eloquent, and I do mean accused. In the context it was used it obviously meant long-winded. So, I will strive to be less "eloquent" here.

Sure I could have written "This show sucks!" in big capital letters and sent that in. If I had, I have a strong suspicion I would have been roundly criticized for it, and rightfully so.

Merely saying "this good -- that bad" without offering any reason or opinion as to why is a waste of time and bandwidth. Just as saying a particular season, as opposed to the other seasons, is the greatest without offering any reason as to why is a waste of time and bandwidth.

I was also accused of being a conspiracy theorist. I do not think there is a conspiracy against Garielle, or the actress who plays her, by The Iconoclast Tapert and The Star Lawless. (I was also called rude for not using titles. I'm not quite sure what kind of titles I'm supposed to bestow upon these folks, so I reckon this will have to do.)

Look at what has been going on. The last two entertainment shows to feature news of Xena: Warrior Princess barely showed The Overlooked O'Connor. We certainly didn't hear any comments from her.

Count how many pictures of The Overlooked O'Connor there are in the 16 month XWP calendar. It shouldn't prove too difficult. You don't have to be able to count any higher than one. And that picture she has to share with The Star Lawless.

Look in the most recent Creation catalogue. They are hawking plaques of the first three seasons. These plaques are supposed to represent "the essence of the season". The plaque for S1 is Xena and Gabrielle sitting side by side smiling. The plaque for S2 is Xena and Gabrielle in the hot tub. The plaque for S3 is Xena ....and a horse. The first two seasons The Overlooked O'Connor wasn't quite so overlooked.

In her first con appearance at Valley Forge, The Overlooked O'Connor couldn't even have the stage to herself. Li'l Bro Raimi kept horning in during her time onstage. Even though The Star Lawless wasn't there, she did manage to insinuate herself into the proceedings by phoning in.

So, no, I do not think there is a conspiracy. By definition, a conspiracy is secretive. Nothing at all secretive about this. It is very overt.

I find it almost amusing that the primary response to the posts by ColdWave, Ogami, and myself was little more than an attack upon us. In fact, that seems to be the norm in most XWP fora these days -- attack the critics without addressing any of the concerns they have raised.

If I have misstated anything or have any of my facts wrong, tell me. If anyone has a different interpretation, tell me about it. I like reading viewpoints that are different from my own. Someone could bring up something I hadn't considered or didn't know.

So if you disagree with me, fine! Just tell me why. Don't take your cue from Sears --oops, excuse me... The Great Mouth Sears-- and liken me to a conspiracy theorist. The only thing left out was the reference to believing in UFO's.

Well let me tell you, as the aliens who shot JFK told me during my recent abduction -- if the primary response to criticism is an attack on the critics, then maybe the criticism has some merit.


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