Whoosh! Issue 50 - November 2000

WHOOSH Contributors Ponder Fandom
Page 1

Raising A Proverbial Glass by Richard Carter Jr.
Behold the Power of WHOOSH! by Virgina Carper
Subversion, Power, and Sex: Reflections on XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS by Rachel Gordon
The Phenomenal Effect WHOOSH Has Made on My Life by Tina M. Dunckel

By Richard Carter Jr.
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
524 words

Gabrielle's Continuing Journey (01-05)


Gabrielle's Continuing Journey

Has anyone seen my marbles?  I seem to have lost them.

Gabrielle, the Early Years (SINS OF THE PAST).

[01] It has been several seasons since I first contributed the two parts of "The Hero's Path: Gabrielle as Focal Hero in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS". Unfortunately, time (or rather, the lack of time) has prevented me from following up this series as I had planned. Fortunately, I have noticed that others have taken up the torch and continued exploring the mythic themes of the hero's journey.

[02] I have been happily surprised that my early assessment has turned out to be correct in many ways. While Xena is the title character, it is actually Gabrielle's journey from frustrated farm girl to hero that the series is chronicling. This is ironic, as Gabrielle herself thinks that the chronicle is about Xena. The rumors I hear about the upcoming season (which might also be the final season) speak to a further exploration of Gabrielle's ascent to hero.

[03] If the path is followed, Gabrielle will reach the end of her journey (finding her treasure, literal or metaphorical), and then have to find a way back to living a normal life. But if the series does end, will that mean that Gabrielle's journey has ended? Right now, only the producers know for sure. It is certainly enough, I think, to keep us glued to our seats to see which paths are taken.

[04] And who knows? I might even be able to make the time to write a piece that will give some measure of closure with this series that I started so many issues ago.

[05] I raise my proverbial glass to Kym and the rest of the staff and contributors to WHOOSH for its first fifty issues. It is quite an achievement, a lot of hard work, and a great barometer of how loved XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS was, is, and will continue to be.


Richard Carter, Jr., "Hero's Path: Gabrielle as Focal Hero in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, The" WHOOSH #2 (October 1996)

Richard Carter, Jr., "Hero's Path: Gabrielle as Focal Hero in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS: Part 2" WHOOSH #18 (March 1998)


Richard Carter Jr. Richard Carter Jr.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, CJ (as he's known to just about everyone) has evolved to become not only a screenwriter, but also an SF/F author. At times, he can be found being a graphics-type person, as well. When he isn't pursuing his work of writing and art, he takes pleasure in exploring his refound hobby of electronic design.
Favorite episode:ENDGAME (88/420)
Favorite line:Ephiny to Xena: "Now I see why you ride the horse." HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110); Callisto: "You're my li'l Hercules." A NECESSARY EVIL (38/14); Gabrielle to Amarice: "For many years I walked in Xena's shadow... she taught me something. It's warmer standing in the sun." THEM BONES, THEM BONES (95/505)
First episode seen: THE WARRIOR PRINCESS (H09/109)
Least favorite episode: LYRE, LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510)

By Virginia Carper
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
1166 words

Me, Myself, And I (01-02)
Nonfiction Writing (03-04)
My Articles (05-10)
The Power Of WHOOSH (11-12)
Kudos To WHOOSH (13)


Me, Myself, And I

I ordered right away and got one of these for free!

Joxer debuts his 'shortcomings' in CALLISTO.

[01] In the grand total of contributions to WHOOSH, I am third after the two editors, Bret Ryan Rudnick and Kym Masera Taborn. But if one excludes monthly editorials and interviews, I am number one with seventeen articles. Why did I write so many articles for WHOOSH? Was I crazy or simply a XENA fanatic? Truth to tell, I have not the foggiest notion.

[02] WHOOSH offered a ready place for offerings from my fevered imagination. I could write creative nonfiction in my own style without worrying about more qualifiers to make my point. My articles ranged from the serious (Joxer's disability) to the amusing (our heroes coming back as beavers). Although I did my writing for WHOOSH without monetary reward, I received payment in knowing what I wrote was enjoyed.

Nonfiction Writing

[03] In my opinion, nonfiction writers are the unsung heroes of the Xenaverse. Some of the finest examples of nonfiction is found in WHOOSH. Examine them and you will find thoughtful and outrageous pieces that inspire 'letters to the editors' and ongoing intense discussion. Other pieces amuse and bring a smile.

[04] Writing nonfiction is as demanding as fiction writing. To be good, you have to get your facts right. Then, you have to be interesting. Finally, you have to be coherent in your writing.

My Articles

[05] In writing my articles, I tried for variety and creativity. Although my major interests are natural history and disabilities, I wanted to write about topics outside my range. WHOOSH inspired me to explore 'all things XENA'.

[06] I worked the longest on "Disparate Cultures: Shock of the Other, Collision, Apartness, and Resolution". During the time I was researching the history of southern Africa and ancient Greece, I kept asking myself why was I doing this? I was not getting paid for it. For all practical purposes, it was a waste of time. But was it? No, I learned the discipline of having something to say and finding interesting ways to say it.

[07] The hardest article I wrote was "Stories Of Fluid Sexuality: XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and ARE YOU BEING SERVED?", which compared the sexuality of the television show ARE YOU BEING SERVED? with XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (XWP). Since subtext is a major issue in the Xenaverse, I wanted to see if I could write a balanced article. I do not feel strongly that Xena and Gabrielle are lovers. However as I wrote, I received insights into what other XENA fans enjoyed about XWP.

[08] One piece I got a lot of response to was "Joxer from a Disability Perspective". For me, Joxer showed how people with disabilities cope in the world. A few disability websites linked to the piece because it explained mental disabilities in understandable terms.

[09] Another article that people enjoyed was "Food and Drink: What Xena and Gabrielle Eat on the Road". I received mail from fan fiction writers who wanted to vary the menu of their characters. In addition, I received a lot of questions about food in ancient Greece.

[10] "The Once and Future Beaver" was a joy for me to write. After the horror of IDES OF MARCH (92/422), I needed some relief. Tying Xena and Gabrielle with beavers took a bit of creative thinking but was fun! The beaver article generated mail from curious readers.

The Power Of WHOOSH

[11] During the middle of the third season, my writing muse for 'all things XENA' dried up for XWP was no longer exciting and was too disjointed for me to watch. What brought me back was WHOOSH. Every month, I would read the 'letters to the editor' and articles. The subtext discussions inspired me to tackle that subject. The tarot articles on THE BITTER SUITE (58/312) inspired me to write about Christian icons.

[12] Although I rarely watch the show, WHOOSH still inspires me to write. After my last article last summer, I stopped again writing about Xena. Then WHOOSH decided to join the blackout protesting company efforts to shut down fan fiction sites. Once more, I had to write about my thoughts, this time on copyrights.


[13] In the Xenaverse, the fiction writers (AKA Bards) are the stars. People admire their grace and style as well as their creativity. However, non-fiction writing takes as much skill and creativity. WHOOSH is where I go for the best in nonfiction writing. I am happy to contribute to such a publication.


Virginia Carper, "Christian Iconography in THE BITTER SUITE" WHOOSH #31 (April 1999)

Virginia Carper, "Disparate Cultures: Shock of the Other, Collision, Apartness, and Resolution" WHOOSH #35 (August 1999)

Virginia Carper, "Draco, The Warlord: Can He Be Reformed?" WHOOSH #16 (January 1998)

Virginia Carper, "Exploration of Mental Illness As Presented In THE FURIES" WHOOSH #30 (March 1999)

Virginia Carper, "Exploration of the Descendants of Xena, Et Alia, An" WHOOSH #13 (October 1997)

Virginia Carper, "Food and Drink: What Xena and Gabrielle Eat on the Road" WHOOSH #10 (July 1997)

Virginia Carper, "How Effective Was Xena as a Commander?" WHOOSH #6 (March 1997)

Virginia Carper, "Inspiration for THE PRICE" WHOOSH #40 (January 2000)

Virginia Carper, "Joxer From a Disability Perspective" WHOOSH #9 (June 1997)

Virginia Carper, "Once and Future Beaver, The" WHOOSH #36 (September 1999)

Virginia Carper, "Sharks in the Xenaverse" WHOOSH #34 (July 1999)

Virginia Carper, "Spider, Sand Spider! The Natural World Of Xena: Warrior Princess" WHOOH #29 (February 1999)

Virginia Carper, "Stories of Fluid Sexuality: Xena: Warrior Princess and Are You Being Served?" WHOOSH #24 (September 1998)

Virginia Carper, "Volcanoes: The Foes of the Gods" WHOOSH #11 (August 1997)

Virginia Carper, "What's the Use of Having a Sword if You Have No Arm?" WHOOSH #15 (December 1997)

Virginia Carper, "Xena (The Warrior Princess), P.T. Barnum (The Humbug Prince), and Copyrights" WHOOSH #46 (July 2000)

Virginia Carper, "Xena Tapestry: The Woof and Weave of Myth and History , The" WHOOSH #7 (April 1997)


Virgina Carper Virgina Carper
My goal is to be a garden variety human being. My friends know me as a squirrel. I am, however, a card carrying member of the Squirrel Lovers Club, and do squirrel studies. My family watches XWP for the marvelous things Xena does and for Joxer, the warlord with autism.
Favorite episode:BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (48/302)
Favorite line:Joxer to Xena and Gabrielle: "A great many people have become allies because of their hatred of me." Xena and Gabrielle nod 'Yes!' BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (48/302)
First episode seen: WARRIOR PRINCESS (H09/109)
Least favorite episode:Most of the Third Season


By Rachel Gordon
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
739 words

In the Beginning (01)
The Internet (02)
WHOOSH (03-05)
The Future (06-08)


In the Beginning

Unaware that Meg has taken Xena's place

Gabrielle interrupts a steamy scene between Ares and Xena in AMPHIPOLIS UNDER SIEGE.

[01] It was back in 1995 that I first started watching XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (XWP). I was pleasantly surprised by the wry, self-deprecating humor, the presence of two fascinating central characters that happened to both be female, the complex "subtexts" (and I do not just mean THAT one!), and the subtle feminist messages embedded in the episodes. The show itself sustained my interest until 1997 when I discovered the Internet.

The Internet

[02] Words alone do not adequately describe the sensation of stumbling upon the fan fiction of Della Street, Ella Quince, Phopas, Bat Morda, and Rebecca Hall, but it was truly like happening upon buried treasure. Further Internet searches led me to an article entitled: "Xena: Warrior Princess Through the Lenses of Feminism" (by Melissa Meister, http://whoosh.org/issue10/meister2.html) and ultimately to WHOOSH (http://whoosh.org). Here was a place where people wrote essays, for fun, about all the subtle, underlying themes within the show. After reading articles such as Elisa Deyneka's "XWP and the Masochistic Ideal" (http://whoosh.org/issue14/deyneka.html) and Gregory R. Swenson's "Alexander the Great: Blueprint for Xena" (http://whoosh.org/issue4/richan.html), I realized that this online journal was a perfect forum for an examination of the complexities of this enigmatic television series.


[03] Back then, WHOOSH had a "publish or perish" requirement that one had to fulfill in order to remain on the mailing list. That was the final push needed to inspire me to start writing publicly.

[04] Since then I have written three essays for WHOOSH: "How Subversive is XWP?" (http://whoosh.org/issue21/gordon2.html); "Sexual Power in XWP" (http://whoosh.org/issue27/gordon3.html); and "Sexual Objectification in XWP" (http://whoosh.org/issue44/gordon4.html). All examine those subtle messages embedded in the show, the ones not readily apparent until we look for them, and the impact of these messages on our world. I have enjoyed the many thoughtful comments received from readers over the years, and am continually inspired by reader insight and creativity.

[05] I very much appreciate the forum that Whoosh has provided to promote a scholarly approach (though frequently tongue-in-cheek, as well) to the study of the XWP phenomenon and the Xenaverse.

The Future

[06] Over the seasons, the humor in XWP episodes has become less wry, the characterizations less consistent, the "subtexts" less complex, and the feminist message thoroughly undermined.

[07] However, over the same period fan fiction and uber/original fiction has surpassed the quality of published fiction not inspired by XWP and its amazing characters. Television shows like CHARMED have been developed, and shows such as BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and STAR TREK: VOYAGER have evolved, that are not afraid to center their storylines completely around female characters. I do not believe that any of this would have occurred had XWP not proven, over a five-year period, that men and women will tune in regularly to watch female heroes save the day.

[08] Regardless of the current state of the show, XWP has been a highly successful creative catalyst. Through its online presence, its influences on print and television media, and its reflections on us all, XWP's legacy is greater than the sum of its many parts.


Rachel Gordon, "How Subversive is XWP? A Brief Examination of the Post-Rift Gabrielle" WHOOSH #21 (June 1998)

Rachel Gordon, "Sexual Objectification in Xena: Warrior Princess Or Where Are The Three Naked Dancing Autolyci?" WHOOSH #44 (May 2000)

Rachel Gordon, "Sexual Power in Xena: Warrior Princess" WHOOSH #27 (December 1998)


Rachel Gordon Rachel Gordon
Rachel Gordon is a New York City-based physician. She is a graduate of Columbia University where she studied as many of the liberal arts as her Pre-Med requirements would allow. Rachel has watched XWP since its inception and, despite Season Five-induced doubts, remains cautiously optimistic about Season Six. Go Missy!
Favorite episode:BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (48/302); ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313)
Favorite line:Klion: "Oh, go away, you're not even a good actress." Xena: "Now that was a little uncalled for . . . CHEE-YAH !" THE PLAY'S THE THING
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101)

By Tina M. Dunckel
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
520 words

Me? Exaggerate? (01-03)
It Means a Lot


Me? Exaggerate?

On no! She's reincarnated as Joxer again.

Waking up as Joxer's wife can require a few moments of repose (MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS).

[01] So maybe I am exaggerating a little, but Whoosh has had a positive impact. It produced a website dedicated to my favorite show, containing lots of juicy details, episode guides, and info on the actors. Not only that, but fans of the show and the site are encouraged to submit articles for other fans to read. What is there not to like?

[02] Let me start off by saying thanks to the folks at WHOOSH for kindly publishing my article: "Joxer: Death of a Hero". I have gotten so many positive letters from individuals who have read it. Not only were they happy with the topic, they were telling me what a wonderful writer I was. I cannot tell you how uplifting it is to have people tell me that one of the things I love to do, in their opinion, I am able to do well. It has given me the self-assurance to write an online column on a weekly basis. It is not about XENA, though. Perhaps that will be my next goal.

[03] Another way WHOOSH has affected my life is that due to the fact I live in New York, a state with two baseball teams, there are many times when the stations would rather air baseball instead of XENA. (Blast those Yankee-loving TV station executives!) It is infuriating. When that happens, WHOOSH is there with an episode guide, so I at least know what happens. It may not be as good as watching it, but at least I am not left in the dark about what happened.

It Means a Lot

[04] Though to some these might seem like trivial things, to me they mean quite a bit. Kym Taborn, as well as all the staff at WHOOSH, is dedicated to making a great website. Congratulations on the longevity of the site, and I hope you all have many more months of success.


Tina M. Dunckel, "Joxer: Death of a Hero" WHOOSH #47 (August 2000)


Tina M. Dunckel Tina M. Dunckel
Married with 4 children. I have recently started an online column loosely based on the WWF (it's humor, and it's not for the faint of heart) called "Pass the Crayon". Working on a novel, that hopefully is worthy of publishing.
Favorite episode:THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER...(56/310)
Favorite line:"Gabrielle awoke with a jerk", which was what she had wrote in the scroll and when Aphrodite said "when pigs fly" and Ares replied, "You fly". He always has the best lines. THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER...(56/310)
First episode seen: CHARIOTS OF WAR (02/102)
Least favorite episode:I wasn't too crazy about MARRIED WITH FISHTICKS (105/515) and I never really liked the Alti character, so any episode with her in it would be at the bottom of my list.

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