Whoosh! Issue 48 - September 2000
Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to ktaborn@lightspeed.net and mark the subject "Letter to the Editor". All letters with the subject "Letter to the editor" are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged and may be published at the editor's discretion. Letters received after the 15th of the month may be reserved for a later issue.

Message from Bluesong
The Sexually Dysfunctional Gabrielle
Aphrodite: Oh, My Goddess
Joxer: Death of a Hero
Editorial: The Summer of Our Discontent
The Southern California Xenafest 6 was Great, But...
Joxer Fan Fiction - The Secret Scrolls
Quality of Fan Fiction
Joxer's Purpose
The 2nd All Fan Fiction Issue
August Editorial
Gabwhackers: A Comparison
Antony and Cleopatra
Pasadena 2001 Convention
Fifth Season Survivor
XWP and Xena Fiction
Joxer Angst
Autographs in the Xenaverse

Letters To The Editor

Message from Bluesong

From: Bluesong
Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

To all the readers of Whoosh!

I wish to thank all of the Xenites who sent me condolences when my mother passed away at the end of August. I was awed and humbled by the number of folks who took the time to send me a note or a prayer. I knew the Xenite community was close-knit, but I don't believe I realized just how connected we are to one another, all for the love of a television show. Funny what brings people together.

I hope all of you who enjoy the synopsis of each episode will continue to look to Whoosh! when the new episodes are scheduled. I plan to continue writing into Season 6.

My sincerest good wishes to each and every Xenite. Thank you again.


The Sexually Dysfunctional Gabrielle

From: Janet Elizabeth Swainston
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000


I just wanted to say, THANK YOU, for this excellent article. Much of what Ms. Shields illustrates here are things that I have seen and thought too. I too have found that Gabrielle doesn't seem to know what she wants. The points are clearly and concisely drawn. It is very gratifying to know that others see Gabrielle as wishy-washy and repressed in her desires. This is what makes her so unlikable.

Again, this article is well written and beautifully articulated. Thank you Kym for publishing this and Trish for writing this.

Janet Elizabeth

From: Nusi Dekker
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I was extremely perturbed..no, make that outright offended, by the premise of the article, THE SEXUALLY DYSFUNCTIONAL GABRIELLE, by Trish Shields. The author here states that the Gabrielle/Joxer relationship is a dysfunctional one, with all of the blame resting on Gabrielle, because she won't give in to Joxer's demands, even though, according to the author, she "leads him on".

Throughout the past several seasons Gabrielle has been portrayed as being the most sexually secure character of all. Gabrielle did NOT initially leave her home and family to follow Xena with the intention of entering into a sexual relationship with her, she wanted to BE with Xena because she recognized her soul mate. She was perfectly able to pursue and form healthy sexual relationships with young men, it was just her bad luck that they always died on her. She fell in love with her old beau Perdicus and married him with Joxer's (and Xena's) blessing. She had an evidently sexually functional and very fulfilling marriage consummation, and it was enough for her to give up her travels with her soul mate. After he was brutally murdered in front of her the very next day, it seemed rather appropriate for her character to be traumatized by the incident sufficiently enough to make her cautious about entering into another sexual relationship for awhile.

Was the author insinuating that the "special" Joxer and Gabrielle "relationship" began with CALLISTO? For myself, the relationship between Gabrielle and Joxer during the episodes up until COMEDY OF EROS was quite similar to the relationship between Gabrielle and Salmonius (in THE BLACK WOLF and CALLISTO).

The author states that in FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS, "The bard is captivated". Hello, Joxer was put under a spell by Aphrodite to become a veritable Casanova so that a princess would fall for Joxer and split up with her fiancee, a prince from a rival kingdom. ALL the females within eyesight of Joxer fell under the spell, including Gabrielle, who overcame the effect of the spell almost immediately. Gabrielle was not leading Joxer on here. Meanwhile, in a true double-standard, Joxer flirted with and propositioned every other woman there in full view of Gabrielle, who by the way didn't look jealous, just irritated.

Which brings me to Joxer's sexual proclivities. In WARRIOR PRINCESS TRAMP, Joxer began a sexual relationship with Meg (who he first mistook for Xena), then bragged to Gabrielle about his sexual prowess, even showing off his hickeys. Fast forward to WARRIOR PRIESTESS TRAMP, which occurred AFTER Joxer had supposedly fallen in love with Gabrielle in COMEDY OF EROS. Joxer is welcomed into Meg's whorehouse as a regular customer, not just of Meg's but apparently all the other whores in the place as well, who greet him with an updated song, "Joxer the mighty, master of virility..". Joxer seems to have had a steady sexual relationship with Meg throughout the years (they get together again in KEY TO THE KINGDOM), which is evidently not a problem for him in his pursuit of Gabrielle. He also has a wandering eye for any other nubile female, especially in the fifth season. With all of Joxer's extracurricular sexual activity, how could Gabrielle think she was anything more to him than just another sexual conquest, and that once he had her there wouldn't be any reason not to share him with Meg, since he was seeing Meg steadily already. Joxer became obsessed with Gabrielle the more she rejected him because she became sexually unattainable to him. It is absolutely repulsive to think that Gabrielle should have that sexual relationship with Joxer, no matter that she is not in love with him, simply because she "owes" him the favor as a reward for being such a persistent suitor. Gabrielle has already been portrayed as a "bitch" for rejecting Joxer's advances, and yet Joxer is free to belittle Gabrielle every chance he gets by making snide remarks, put Gabrielle in a position to take blame for his mistakes, embarrassing Gabrielle in public, causing her to be almost killed several times, etc. And then pretty soon after he perceives that Gabrielle is finally dead, Joxer finds Meg who has been evidently waiting for him, marries her, has a brood of children with her, and has a fulfilling, happy marriage for 25 years. Wouldn't this have made Meg Joxer's true love and Gabrielle only a passing, unhealthy obsession?

Is Gabrielle dysfunctional because she hasn't had any REAL SEX (meaning with a guy) since the "Perdicus incident"? Is she dysfunctional because she alluded to practicing masturbation in WARRIOR PRIESTESS TRAMP and that is looked upon as a perverted, dysfunctional act (Joxer's manipulations in the bushes in KINDRED SPIRITS being exempt, of course, cause he's a GUY)? Or maybe Gabrielle is in love with Xena (as suggested by the author) but of course she can't have sex with Xena because Xena is a girl and Gabrielle feels a little dysfunctional about the idea, and this little problem prevents her from responding to Joxer the way a red-blooded gal like her should?

That Gabrielle is not rolling in the hay or biting male nipples in every episode does not necessarily make her sexually dysfunctional. Neither is the fact that she hasn't had any sex for awhile. She isn't a "gotta have it all the time" person like Joxer, or even like 5th-season Xena. She is a normal woman placed in abnormal circumstances.

From: Paully Adams
Subject: Gabrielle's Sexual Dysfunction and season 5
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000

Before I begin, let me just say that I love WHOOSH! I've not missed an issue since I discovered it last year. The articles always give me something to think about, and the captions are ROTFLOL!

But, after reading August's issue, I find myself taking exception with the article about Gabrielle. I don't see Gabrielle and Joxer's relationship in the same light.

Let me say right now, that I am not a G&J [Gabrielle & Joxer] fan! Joxer is lovable, but not the right person for Gabrielle. But after watching Season 5, I have to say that I find the idea of X&G [Xena & Gabrielle] less credible, mostly due to Xena's actions.

On one hand, we have Joxer: lovable but an idoit. However, I believe he would never knowingly hurt Gabrielle; this man would do anything for her. On the other hand, we have Xena: full of passion. However, during season five I found myself using the B* word for Xena, especially in moments with G&X together. Here is a small list of moments that had me scratching my head and wondering if Xena really loved Gabrielle:

1)Anytime Gabrielle told Xena that she loved her baby as her own. It just seemed to me that Xena did not really believe her, belittled her comments.

2) When Gabrielle tried to comfort her after they saw the monsterous actions of Livia. She knocked Gabrielle's hand off her shoulder.

3) MOTHERHOOD. Don't want to talk about it. Just watch it.

This is no way a complete list. For the past few years, I've been a strong X&G (as lovers) supporter. But now, I have to ask myself "Why does Gabrielle stick around?"

So, Gabrielle has two people who love her dearly, both have qualities that she admires, and both of whom she loves dearly. But who will get her? And more importantly, who deserves her? It is not about sexual dysfunction, at least not IMHO.

I wish that season 6 will tell us season five was just a nightmare, it really didn't happen, i.e. Dallas. But we know that won't be the case, so hopefully TPTB will deal with this split.

Paully Adams

Aphrodite: Oh, My Goddess

Subject: Aphrodite
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000
From: Andrew Shaughnessy

Just read your article in this month's Whoosh [about Aphrodite]. Great job - I've always had a soft spot for Aphrodite, and I was glad to hear she survives the Twilight (we've only got as far as "Looking Death in the Eye" in the UK).

I think much of Aphrodite's popularity is due to Alexandra Tydings' acting ability. She seems equally at home with slapstick and straight scenes. I saw "Reign of Terror" just a few weeks ago as a rerun, and was really impressed with her performance.


Joxer: Death of a Hero

From: Janet Elizabeth Swainston
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000


After all my squawking about a lack of pro-Joxer articles, you turn around and print one that was a breath of fresh air.

The article, Joxer: Death of a Hero, was like a revelation. Ms. Dunckel made the point that all fans of Joxer have always known about him; that he was a hero while still possessing qualities that made him very human.

Her observations on his hidden humanity and endearing qualities were very succinct. The fact that she illustrates this with examples of his quiet acts of heroism is utter pefection.

I thank Tina for this magnificent article and you, Kym for allowing it to be printed. If only more people were open to seeing these qualities in him and thus acknowledging their own fallible humanity!

Janet Elizabeth

From: Crystal Blue

Subject: letter to the editor
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000

Re: joxer: death of a hero

I would like to thank Tina M. Dunckel for writing such a fine and sensitive eulogy for our boy Joxer. The selfless nature of Joxer is indeed what made him such a fine hero, and one I'll remember fondly for a long, long time.

From: Richard P. McArthur
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Re: Death of A hero

Ms. Dunckel has a lot of it right. But the reason Joxer cannot be Joxer the Mighty is simply physical. Somehow, he is clumsy, uncoordinated. Were he as coordinated as Jett, he would be a formidable warrior. Then, he would be either Joxer the Mighty-or dead.

Note something: In LIVIA he tells Virgil to fight as "I taught you" and Virgil fights well. Joxer might have been a good teacher of fighting arts, though a poor practitioner.

Also: note large farm in LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE, and thriving business in LIVIA. When he stopped being Joxer the Mighty, he might have been Joxer the Smart.

Very truly yours,
Richard P. McArthur

Editorial: The Summer of Our Discontent

From: Lindy
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000
Subject: re: Yep, that about covers it!

Thank you for the excellent editorial. Without vitriol or venom you expressed our various puzzlements, anger, disappointments and stubborn hope for season 6. Do you ever think about the very first time you watched XWP? Do you ever wish you'd chosen Bowling for Dollars instead?


From: Margaret Hill
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Wow, what a great editorial by Ms. Taborn for issue #47. Seldom have I seen so much expressed so succinctly. Yes, last season had it all. While Joxerphiles mourned, subtexters got to see Xena savagely kill Gabrielle, and those scenes of lust without love with Ares and Anthony should have offended the heterosexual fans as well. Then there was Super Xena, turning whole armies to stone and zapping the gods, thus returning her to the comic books from which the writers had so successfully removed her in the past. What happened? Hey, I'm one of those who admires the Xena people and want to like anything they do. Can't wait to see what's next. Bon Voyage.


From: Virgina Kelly
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2000
Subject: Thank you!

Thank you, oh thank you for your editorial "The Summer of Our Discontent!" After wading through that feel the love Whoosh article in the August issue about how wonderful S5 was (and everyone's entitled to his or her opinion of course) it was nice to see an article/editorial that spoke to those who are horrified at what transpired during Season 5.

Thanks again.

From: Andrew Shaughnessy
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

After reading her letter in Issue 47, I'm in complete agreement with LeedsBard regarding the spate of personal attacks on Lucy Lawless. They're both unnecessary and unjustified. Lucy wasn't even first choice for the role, but can you imagine ANYONE else as Xena? Like any true professional, she does a great job with the material she's given. If people want to throw brickbats they should at least aim for the right target, which in the case of XWP would have to be the writers.

Kym raised a good point in August's editorial, namely the move from "stand-alone" stories to arcs taking up the better part of a season. I feel this was a mistake on the part of TPTB as it shifted the emphasis away from the two main characters. Any BABYLON 5 fans reading this (Aloha, Jim!) will know that series had a 5-year story arc, which took precedence over the characters involved. Major players left, returned or died as necessary to advance the storyline. This works when you have an ensemble cast, but XWP has a cast of just two. Seasons One and Two were character led, chronicling Xena's journey towards redemption and Gabrielle's growth from girl to woman. As the characters developed so did their relationship, and our relationship with them. By the end of Season Two Xena and Gabrielle were our friends as well as each other's, and we knew how they would react to any given set of circumstances.

Admittedly there were blips early on, where the characters were twisted to fit the story. BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS is a good example. Gabrielle's attitude towards Perdicas makes no sense to anyone who has seen SINS OF THE PAST. Why couldn't the writers have made his character a long-lost childhood sweetheart instead of the "dull, stupid" guy Gabby couldn't wait to dump? Xena's misuse of Gabrielle's precious scrolls in A DAY IN THE LIFE is also uncharacteristic. On the whole, however, the characters dictated the plot rather than the reverse. The nearest thing to a story arc was the DESTINY trilogy, which showed that three episodes was long enough to fit in an extended storyline. The occasional sequel, such as MORTAL BELOVED, added a sense of continuity without slowing things down with immensely involved backstories.

All that changed in Season Three with THE DELIVERER. Still one of my favourite episodes (although painful to watch), it nevertheless represents a missed opportunity. As a sequel to DREAMWORKER it could have worked, with Xena helping Gabrielle to come to terms with the loss of her blood innocence. This was how GABRIELLE'S HOPE began, but Gabby's pain was swept under the carpet with the beginning of The Rift. Suddenly this wonderful relationship was torn apart by lies, betrayal and attempted murder. Just when we thought it was all over Gabrielle's character was further blackened in FORGET ME NOT. It later emerged that the idea of her owing Ares a favour was added to this episode as an afterthought. In addition, no-one remembered that it would have been impossible for Ares to call in the favour had Xena succeeded in killing Gabrielle in THE BITTER SUITE. This demonstrates a real lack of thought from all concerned.

Season Four is notable for Gabrielle's sheer hypocrisy after espousing the Way of Love. She constantly criticises Xena for being a warrior, yet relies on that same warrior to defend her. REMEMBER NOTHING showed us that if Xena had never taken up her sword there would have been no-one to stop Draco capturing Gabrielle and selling her to Mezentius. It's a pity Xena never got around to telling her about that. The uncharacteristic behaviour typical of Seasons Three and Four may have advanced the story arcs, but it also robbed Xena and Gabrielle of the qualities which had defined them - their love, trust and respect for one another.

I had high hopes for Season Five. Gabrielle had abandoned the Way of Love, and CHAKRAM showed something of the old magic between her and Xena. Unfortunately, but perhaps unavoidably, the Eve/Twilight of the Gods storyline soon put a stop to that. I read a magazine article recently which said that best friends can be driven apart when one of them has a baby, as the mother's priorities change. Well, full marks to the writers for accurate social commentary, but that's not what we want to see! Nor do we care for a Xena who exhibits an annoying "Mommy knows best" mentality and a Gabrielle who maims first and asks questions later. Happily, KINDRED SPIRITS showed Xena really taking account of Gabrielle's desires, and in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA Gabrielle was clearly concerned for her friend's well-being. That's as far as the series has run to date in the UK, but from what I've read the upcoming episodes will feature more discord between our heroines.

All is not lost, however. Even in the darkest times a few beacons of hope shine out. Season Three had ONE AGAINST AN ARMY, with beautiful performances from Lucy and Renee, and IDES OF MARCH is regarded by many fans as a classic. Perhaps now that TPTB have admitted to making mistakes in the later seasons we will see a return to the series we fell in love with five years ago, with two women facing the world, ready "to stand together through the storms". I'm a lot more optimistic than I was a few months ago. Whether that optimism is justified remains to be seen.

From: Edwina Santos
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000

I just read your rants about the evolution of Xena. I live in a country where only the first episodes were shown, but in the past month, Xena has returned. I watched in horror. What had happened to the Xena I first saw and enjoyed? It's kind of like X-Files, in that we get it a year behind and some years are skipped. It, too, appears to have lost it's orginal flavor. But, being desperate for ANYTHING in English...imagine the Discovery Channel in Portuguese....I will continue to watch Xena and do what the soccer fans here do to the opposing team, throw wads of toilet paper at the screen. At least I understand what's being said, and right now that's the most important thing, no matter how bad it sucks :)

Edwina Santos
exiled in the PortuGalaxy

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