Whoosh! Issue 46 - July 2000
Letters to the Editor




Kudos

From: Otere
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000

Just thought i would let you know how much I appreciate the work you do for Xena and related shows and now ANDROMEDA! You're pretty amazing! I can hardly keep up with the lists myself! I love WHOOSH BTW. It was my first XENA site found! Cant remember how I found it but it kept me fully satisfied for a year and a half all by it self!!! Ha ha

Otere






From: Jeannine Murrell
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000
Subject: Whoosh!

I have followed your online mag. for over two years now and I just want to say that I am so happy that you have this site. I enjoy greatly the articles and updates on the show and the stars themselves. I appreciate all the work the writers put into their projects which you post on the website.

I have nothing to offer except my thanks and please keep up the good work!

Jeannine Murrell





Xena and Callisto

From: A.L.Shaughnessy
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2000
Subject: Letters to the Editor

I recently caught up with some old XWP and HTLJ episodes, notably DESTINY, SURPRISE and A NECESSARY EVIL. Afterwards I thought back to the episodes in which more is learned of Xena's past. This really brought it home to me that Xena was far more evil than Callisto. I have to wonder what the producers had in mind when they scripted these revelations, as they result in a hero who is considerably less sympathetic than the villain.

Compare the two women. Callisto, a girl of about thirteen, sees her village destroyed and her family burned to death. This unhinges her mind and only one thought gives her life any purpose - revenge against Xena, the perpetrator of the massacre. From her first appearance there is always a method in Callisto's madness. Her kidnapping of Gabrielle, the murder of Perdicas, her possession of Xena's body and the death of Solan are all means to one end - making Xena pay for her crime. Despite being distracted on occasions, Callisto remains essentially focused.

Xena, on the other hand, is a grown woman when Caesar betrays her. You might expect her to be better equipped than Callisto to deal with both this and the death of M'Lila. Instead, she goes on a killing spree which lasts almost a decade and takes in most of the known world. In several episodes she is seen torturing and killing simply for pleasure, all this while apparently quite lucid. The supreme irony is that it takes over ten years for Xena to even think about wreaking vengeance on Caesar. When she eventually tries she merely sets in motion a train of events which begins with the loss of Gabrielle's blood innocence and leads to all that unpleasantness with Hope and Dahak. Solan is far from being the only victim of his mother's obsession.

Watching SURPRISE I felt Hercules was unfair in his verdict that Callisto "chose evil". The moment in DESTINY when the young Callisto turns from her burning home to stare at the camera is one which never fails to make me shiver when I see it. That is the face of someone who will never make another rational decision in her life. Callisto was as much a victim as the other villagers that day. Xena was the one who chose evil, not just in DESTINY but also in THE BITTER SUITE. She knew what she was doing, and enjoyed it. That is what makes her crimes so hard to forgive.

Andrew Shaughnessy





Centaur Genetics

From: A.L.Shaughnessy
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2000
Subject: Letters to the Editor

Having read that there are no female centaurs, I have a question. If all centaurs are male, does this mean that all centaur offspring are male? Would the human wife of a centaur have centaur sons and human daughters, or just sons? I know, I know, I should get a life!





Josh Becker

From: cR
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000

I just saw a reference in a mailing list to Josh Becker's comment on online Xena fans, quoted by you in Whoosh #45, so I went to his site to find the original.

I do think in fairness, you should have quoted the letter that gave rise to his reply, (such as "I'm sure you have a few snide comments you can say to me, and all of my Xenite friends"), and quoted Josh's reply in its entirety.

(It's at http://www.beckerfilms.com/post.html [Editor's note: which is the exact same address as is given with the quote on the main page of WHOOSH.ORG under the area called "Inspirational Quote"], if anyone wants to look. It may be on a back page by the time this letter is published in Whoosh).

Josh set up his 'Ask The Director' page to answer queries about his work or directing in general. He's generally terse but not sarcastic in explaining that he doesn't want to be a pipeline for general Xena information. Genuine queries about, say, Kindred Spirits or other eps he's directed have got straight and informative answers from him and I expect will continue to do so.

If anyone doubts that Josh has had some obnoxious, pushy letters from some Xenafans I suggest they go to his site and read some of the pages of past letters.

cR





Politically Incorrect

From: Trisha Von Doss
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I was thinking today about Lucy's appearance on Politicaly Incorrect, and actually found just the idea of it pretty funny. Lucy Lawless... never has been, never will be... politically correct that is. :) I love that she is true to her own ethics and sense of self, and doesn't run around trying to appease the whole of fandom.

She doesn't have to state her values, they are so evident in how she behaves. She obviously isn't the least bit racist or sexually predjudiced. Her family is at least as big a priority as her work. She's loyal to coworkers, freinds and family. When she chooses to express an opinion she is honest about it. She doesn't go around saying unkind things about people ... in fact I have never heard a thing from her mouth in print or on the air that was aimed specifically at another person unless it was complimentary. I don't know too many people I can say that about, myself included.

The Lady is a Class act. I am very proud to be one of her many fans.

People in the Xenaverse seem to have something to say on nearly everything "Lucy" or "Xena". I once wrote a near "essay" in response to some less than flattering things a Xenite had to say about Lucy's visit with Jay Leno, only to have my ISP terminate my connection just as I was hitting the "send " button.

Talk about Levity ... after I closed my gaping mouth over the fact that my literary efforts had been consumed by the Internet Black Hole, I laughed so hard I cried. It's just so funny that I spent so much time writing such a dissertation in defense of Lucy and Xena in the first place. *Chortle* ... I got just what I really needed... a good little Perspective Adjustment.

While I am sincere in what I write about the show in fan letters, to you here at Whoosh, and at the forum, I sometimes still find it amazing that I discover myself doing so with such conviction and passion. I guess we all like defending our loyalties. Makes us feel valiant or chivalrous or something of the like.

Every once in awhile though, I catch a glimpse in the "virtual" mirror like I did that day I sent my "dissertation" into Cyber Heaven, and have to laugh at myself. I have been "lurking" in the Xenaverse for quite a while now. There are times when it has been an interesting experience in practicing "anger management"

Trying to speak to ones disagreement over another's use of disrespectful, hateful, or prejudiced comments, without using language that perpetuates the same, is sometimes a very challenging and difficult excersize in restraint and linguistics. I am not always successful myself ... and sometimes my own internal *goblins* get the better of me. However, I think I am the better for having made the effort in the long run, and hopefully the outcome of such efforts will improve with time and practice. I truly think such opportunities are one of those odd and totally unexpected perks to being a Xena fan.

Whether "flame throwers" or "positive posters," strong feelings seem to be the rule in the Xenaverse. Nothing middle of the road about a Xena fan. You just have to believe RT et. al., have done something pretty right to elicit such strong reactions from people on both ends of the spectrum. I am not at all sure that there is any longer such a thing as a "casual" Xena fan. Somehow that in itself seems the truest testament to just how much power this Creative Collective of Gifted Artists has always had to MOVE us emotionally.

Trisha Von Doss aka
One of Many Fallen Angels...
Xenamour





Cleopatra 2525 Music

Subject: Cleopatra 2525 - Episode 7 (Run Cleo Run)
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000
From: Geckodawn During this episode what is the name of the song playing when Sarge dances?


Dear "Geckodawn",

To answer your question, I believe the song you mean is "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins. It was a massive hit in europe before it got airplay in the USA. It's not something special done for the show, it's an established hit by a real artist in its own right.

Bret Rudnick, editor
WHOOSH






Another Fan Drive

From: RuthD
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000
Subject: what a cool place you gals got here!

First, I must comment on what a fabulous site you have created in Whoosh! I even met a few of you, 'whooshers', years ago at the Orlando Universal Studios Grand Openning of the now defunct Xena exhibit. And that is why I'm writing you, this show is teatering on disaster.

I have this crazy idea of promoting some subtext friendly writers to help make S6 more of a show I can be proud of instead of the disaster I feel it has become. I understand that Tapert has recently stated the desire to make S6 more 'relationship oriented.' And Missy Good is signed on for an episode or two, but what about the other 20-21?

I am trying to rally support for some additional women writers to take part in the Xena series next season. Rita Mae Brown comes to mind, and was wondering if you had any other ideas? I was hoping that this might be something that you might be interested in too? To make it happen, it will take the support of 'power people' like yourself. Are you interested at all in this endeavor? Thanks for reading this email, and I would love to hear your thoughts....happy trails!

ruthD





Upcoming Convention: Toronto Trek

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000
From: Debbie Roche
Subject: New Guest for Toronto Trek!!!

Toronto Trek (Canada's Fan S/F Convention (http://tcon.icomm.ca/tt2000/en/), July 14-16, 2000.

This year we have 2 maybe 3 XENA/HERC guests.

1. Alexandra Tydings: Aphrodite/Katherine
2. Claire Stansfield: Alti
3. Karl Urban: Cupid/Caesar
#3 is a possiblity. Nothing confirmed yet. Rumor has it he's coming.

Debbie Roche





Creative Writing Corner

Date: Mon, 29 May 2000
From: Charmer
Subject: Of Gods and Magic Babies

*Of Gods and Magic Babies*

Many winters ago there lived a little fire god called Dahak. He looked out from his Zoastrian desert and saw that there were many lands and islands in the west to play in; but other gods lived there and he suspected that they would not like his habit of creating mayhem and generally setting fire to stuff.

'I know,' he said to himself, 'I'll knock up a blonde with a magic daughter and she can help me destroy all the gods in the west.'

So without so much as a by-your-leave, Dahak impregnated a lass called Gabrielle and waited for his plan unfold. Unfortunately he'd made a crucial mistake - he'd put his magic baby in the *sidekick*. The person who really wore the trousers was a bigger, darker lass called Xena and being the star of the show she made sure that the plan fell apart.

Two winters later, another desert god with a liking for fire peeked west and decided that those lands and islands would be a nice addition to his turf. Like the first god he saw that the west was full of pagan gods, so he hatched a plan to get rid of them first. He decided to copy Dahak's daughter trick, but with the benefit of hindsight he saw that knocking up the sidekick would not work; he would use the *star*.

And so without so much as a by-your-leave he impregnated the latest woman-as-vessel archetype Xena with a magic baby to prophesy the Twilight of the Olympian gods; and knowing that Xena had always been a clever, sceptical kind of girl in the past, he gave her a magic lobotomy at the same time so that she wouldn't ask any questions. She wouldn't care how the baby got in there and she would 'know' that unlike Gabrielle's magic baby, her magic baby was 'good'.

No longer firing on all cylinders, Xena never asked who this new god was, where he was from, what he was after, or even his name. Many hints were dropped that he was the Judeo-Christian god - he acquired an archangel called Michael, a Baptist, a messianic sacrifice in *Seeds of Faith* and a road-to-Damascus conversion in *Eve*, but nothing was clarified because it might cause another *Way*-like controversy and that would never do.

Xena's magic baby grew up and turned out not to be good at all. She slaughtered, tortured and crucified countless people, and even made Xena cry. Yet Xena loved her magic baby and so she let her carry on playing. Then the new god sent the magic baby a magic light and suddenly she was nice after all. The magic baby was baptised, and by remarkable coincidence the god who had given Xena the magic baby in the first place also gave her some magic power to kill the pagan gods to protect her.

So Xena did, and the new godfather was very pleased to have the star of the show as his pawn and the chief goon on his new patch; and many viewers held their noses and said, 'Phooey, this show has kakked its pants! Let's watch Buffy instead.'






From: Trisha Von Doss
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

The Rebirth of the Xenaverse

To the jaded or cynical eye, the land appeared unable to sustain the living and held no promise of renewal or rebirth. Stretched out beyond the horizon the earth seemed arid...wasted...desolate. An endless wilderness devoid of hope.

But if one looked closely... Carefully....this unforgiving place divulged its truer nature in the fossils of its former living things. And eyes searching openly could find remnants of unrivaled beauty here...the traces of an incredible past...incredible beings...unlike any who had come before them or since. Bearing witness to the fact that life had flourished here once... Was still here...biding its time... Waiting for the rain that would source its resurrection.

There were many who said the rain would never come. Accepting the skeletal tokens of the former life was easier for them than living with the fear of an unfulfilled hope. Pervasive pain over a now mourned past, filled yet others... And refused them a brighter vision of a future day. But a few...a few still held fast to faith... And believed that, as with all things, this once lush and vibrant place would reclaim and even surpass its former glory.

The nonbelievers gawked with skepticism when the heavens finally sent their gift of life again to the wasteland. Narrowed eyes failed to see potential in the falling droplets...saying they would never last... That the rain would end as quickly as it had started.

But drop after drop it fell ... the parched soil soaking up the hungrily awaited sustenance faster than it came. Slowly the earths deep thirst began to be quenched and the rain began to collect... Each drop unto another ... into pools...and pools into streams ... streams into rivers....rivers into lakes and seas.

And the long sleeping seeds of the past awoke from their hibernation at last... Stretching in all directions they reached for rebirth with the unbridled energy of all things newborn. Grasping for purchase on the once barren earth...groping toward the heavens...the air...the sun ... they reveled in resurgence. Exposure to the elements during slumber had served only to nurture a more mature beauty...and now ... they unfurled their wonder in a newfound brilliance.

And willingly...lovingly...unselfishly... they once again shared their gifts with all who chose to see...even those who had claimed their demise... Sung hymns over their graves... And shouted angry words at them for having ever dared to sleep at all.

And the faith keepers smiled knowing smiles ... for they knew...given time, all things under heaven ultimately return to the heart of their true nature.

Epilogue

Virtue lies in Faith without conditions. It costs nothing but promises everything. What has one lost when one believes in something that is not assured? Not Time, because the Time was spent with Hope; Not Hope for Hope is based on an Already Witnessed Past; Not Trust, for the Wise trust Humanity to be Human, and by definition gloriously imperfect. And what is Faith but the coalescence of Time, and Hope and Trust?

Moments... Like raindrops... Collected into hours... Hours spent in a suspended reality... With Two Incredible Beings...who given fertile soil and sustaining water...will unfurl their brilliance....and share with us unselfishly their unparalleled gifts... Once again.









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