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Memo To Robert Tapert And Company: Unsolicited Advice From Armchair Critics
The End of an Era
Soul Mates and Destiny
Rise and Fall
The Thread That Refuses to Die
Memo To Robert Tapert And Company: Unsolicited Advice From Armchair Critics
Subject: Letter to the editor
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001
Goodman and Nguyen's satire on fan-group preoccupations ('Memo to Rob Tapert and Co' - WHOOSH 56) had me simply hooting with laughter. It was accurately observed. It was subversive. It was dangerous to those with non-coffee-proof keyboards. Well done!
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001
From: Lydia Vaughn
Subject: The Armchair Critics
Please tell me that the article in May's issue "Memo To Robert Tapert And Company: Unsolicited Advice From Armchair Critics " by Kate Goodman and Spring Nguyen was a joke. Because I was laughing at every turn on this one.
I'm on several of the Xena lists (thought admittedly I am relatively new to Xena online fandom) , and I know the type of nostalgic whining some fans engage in. I can agree with some of it. This season, with it's endless cycles of Xena or Gabs becoming somehow close to death in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE was getting so boring it was making me actually long for the days of "Married with Fishsticks". But for all that a show that never progresses - never changes - would be honestly worst. I cheered with Gabs lost her tired old staff and long locks. I loved the conflicts between Gabrielle and Xena - what good relationships never have bumps in the road? I know the incessant whining of some fans and it drives me crazy. I know, as per my own nature, if the show had remained the same as the first seasons I'd have stopped watching a long time ago. So it's not always perfect. So what! It's still a great show.
This articles hilarious satire is best summed up with one of their "show saving ideas""Been There Done That AgainThe entire section about the ruined VCRS made me laugh my butt off. And the rest of the "show saving ideas" oh my! My sides are aching. This is either the most brilliant bit of satire on collective fan whining, or the worst article WHOOSH! has ever contained in it's pages. To sum up - if it's a joke, it's brilliant, and I congratulate both Ms. Goodman and Ms. Nguyen. If I misunderstood and these two ladies were serious . . . oh my . . .
In this episode Xena and Gabrielle are hopelessly trapped in Season 2 and early Season 3 and are forced to relive the same experiences over and over. Some variation in word usage and scenes may be allowed, but these episodes should replay the same themes, characters, and plot lines that endeared us to them in the first place. The committee remembers someone once saying that change is constant, but the committee feels that this person was obviously deluded."
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001
From: Janet Elizabeth
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Thank you for such a thought provoking article. I laughed, I cried...I swore profusely!
But I read it...twice!
Good work from the author's and good job to the Ed's for picking up this intriguing article.
From: Rhana McConnell
Subject: WHOOSH Panel at Pasadena
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001
I attended the Whoosh Panel at the Pasadena Convention May 6, 2001 and was thoroughly impressed by the panelists selected. Each one, Bret, Jeff, Katherine, deb7, Beth and Phil, added their own spin on the best and worst of the Six Seasons of Xena: Warrior Princess. Since this was my first convention, I was not sure how the whole process would work, but I must say that the panel was one of the highlights of the convention. [Kym] did a fine job moderating ("She is Tapping me!"). Questions from the audience were answered respectfully and with insight; it was that one on one type of environment that made those two hours very special. I certainly hope that Whoosh will be able to continue such panels in future events. Thank you!
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001
Subject: About "THE EFFECT OF REPEATED EXPOSURE TO A WOMAN IN LEATHER "
Dear Mr. Poindexter,
OK I'm a little confused here. I'm 14 and a devoted shipper (Xena/Ares)! [I've] been watching the show since it started 6 years ago, but I'm a little slow on the uptake. First of all I didn't even know what subtext was or knew it existed, but after 6th season it was like so obvious. Anyway, I'm a little concerned about the article you wrote. From what I understood, heterosexual Xenites turned into lesbians after being exposed to the show for 6 years? Can a TV show really do that to you? I've been like obsessed with the show (and Ares!) since it started. That's why I'm concerned. But anyway here's my question, did any shippers become sub-texters after being exposed to sub-text for so long?
a concerned Xenite
Dearest Concerned Xenite,
Fear not. Those who love Ares from the tender age of 8 are genetically predisposed to be completely immune from the effects of televised subtext. Xena: Warrior Princess could run for another decade and you will still be the precocious wonder you are today.
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001
Subject: (no subject)
Just wanted to tell you that I loved your post in Whoosh on the repeated exposure of a woman in leather. I really can't say that Xena sent me over the edge in my sexuality and that alt fiction has changed any of my behavior...but I can say "My partner has no complaints at this point". Thanks for the article. I loved it.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope to further document the myriad of Xenite experiences in the fandom. If you have any juicy tidbits to share, please do!
From: Carol Lowe
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001
Great article on Whoosh! LOL Keep up the good work and Battle On.
Were you at the convention? It was my first time and I had an great time. The KISS between Alex and Claire was a hoot. Those two are such teases. I must confess, the warrior and the bard did nothing to alter my orientation, but then there was nothing to alter. I wonder if "friend of Xena" will take on for women, what "friend of Dorothy" means to men? Again, great article.
Thank you so much for the compliments. Yes, I did attend this year's convention. How could I not? I was the one wearing safari clothing as the fans can become such beasts when aroused. Perhaps we shall meet in the future?
Date: Wed, 02 May 2001
From: Susan Beaver
first of all, i wouldn't even consider beginning my work day before reading whoosh for xena news.
one question, eh? why does canada feature so prominently in your inspirational quotes? (it is true that i left canada to live in colorado just to get away from spleen dion. but then guess who gave the inaugural concert in denver's new stadium? it must have been anorexic quebecois night or something.) alas, i am back in canada, land of nice. take care, s.I was born and raised in Michigan. We think of ourselves as part of Canada even though we do realize we are not. Heck, we even talk like them. The Great Lakes rule!
The End of an Era
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001
I'm sitting in front of this computer screen with a cup of coffee close by thinking that the final episode of Xena will mark the end to an era. I know that saying this is a bit of a presumption on my part, but that is how I really feel. I think there are others out there who feel the same way as I do.
For many, this show has brought companionship, it brightens their lives, it has given them friends for life, and, in some cases, it helps them find their soul mates.
This show also opened the door in television for the strong, sensitive warrior, a female warrior, like none before her. We were given a strong dark warrior, with a sensitive touch, a dedication to what was right; essentially a character like none on television.
If we stop just for a few seconds and really analyze what the introduction to the show says, we can get an insight into the show and its title character. Maybe we might be able to stretch the lines a bit to suit our own personal everyday life or the lives of those who watched and were or are fans of the show. I really believe Xena: Warrior Princess did change the present face of television and its future during the six years the show was on the air.
"In a time of ancient Gods, Warlords, and Kings_"
Could those ancient Gods the introduction is talking about be the old and ever so mighty studio executives, or possibly the Emmy Board of Directors. These are the same people who are afraid not only to nominate a show like Xena: Warrior Princess for an award, but are afraid to nominate even a show like "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" because neither of the two shows fit into one of their cookie cutter categories. Those same Gods could not see that a female action hero could have the strength and ability to carry a television series to success. Are we referring to those Warlords and Kings who form the networks' top executive branches and are afraid to give a woman (maybe an unknown actress) the opportunity to show her ability to carry a show.
Maybe we can take this first phrase not only to mean those in the television industry, but we can bring it closer to home. We are faced with those top corporations, industries and even government executives who are afraid to give a woman the opportunity to fight the world full of warlords and kings, those who look upon us as a word that rhymes with "witch".
For those of use who dare stand up and tell things as they are, make waves, and present our opinions in an intelligent, coherent way, we are labeled as, once again, that word that rhymes with "witch". But there is also those of us who dare go after a dream at any cost. Or those of us who dare stand up and say this is what and who we are and we are very proud of it. Can't we then say that we are fighting the ancient Gods, the warlords and kings of this era?
"A land in turmoil cried out for a hero_"
How much more true can this be? Aren't we in need of a hero these days? Isn't our world in turmoil? If we doubt that, the only thing we need do is open a newspaper and see all the turmoil we are faced with every day.
"She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle_"
Yes, she was Xena: Warrior Princess, the show that opened the door to many other shows that dare to have a strong, powerful female as the lead character. Xena is a character who is willing to do the right thing at the right time, at great risk to herself, a character who is not afraid to make a mistake, a character who is willing to give up everything for those she loves and cares for. She is a character who is willing to show that sensibility and caring are not signs of weakness, but signs of strength and courage. She shows that it is more courageous to understand love and let love and life be part of us than to walk away from love, friendship, and life.
But what battlegrounds are forging us in today's society? Our battlegrounds today are not the same ones Xena faced weekly in the show. Our battlegrounds could be and are more complex, be it the corporate world or the family that does not believe in us. Life is sometimes just too much to deal with. Sometimes, we struggle constantly to accomplish a lifelong dream. Whatever the arena or battleground in which we move, we can be very sure that we have the courage and strength to stand up for that fight. That is what we have learned from Xena, isn't it?
"The power, the passion, the danger_"
Xena showed us that knowledge is power. The knowledge of who we are gives us the power to triumph over and to conquer anything that comes our way. The knowledge of knowing we are doing the right thing in whatever we do in life gives us the power to open any door we want to open, no matter how big it is. Yes, the knowledge to do what is right, to stand by what we believe, and be counted gives us tremendous power.
The passion: Yes, Xena opened the door to the passion of living life to its fullest, to love and be loved, to enjoy that which makes us happy, for as long as that might be.
From Xena, we also learned about the danger. Yes, there is danger in accepting and being who we are. There is danger in being strong and self-sufficient, but there is also danger in not taking chances, in sitting on the sidelines and letting life pass us by. Xena taught us to go out there and fight the good battle. She taught us that there will be pain in the process, but at the end of the fight, there is always the reward of knowing we were brave enough to go out and fight. And as long as we went out and fought, it "was a good day of fighting".
"Her courage will change the world_"
Xena's courage did change the world. Not only did it change the world of television as we know it, it helped many to change their own personal worlds. It gave many of us the courage to go out and battle our own personal demons and to embrace our past, no matter how dark we thought it could be. But it also taught us to face our future with strength and courage in the knowledge that we could do whatever we wanted, as long as we set our minds to it.
This show opened the door and showed us the strength of love and friendship in all possible forms and shapes. It showed us that love, friendship, and all the things we believe in are worth fighting for.
This show put love and friendship to the maximum test and, in the end, both love and friendship survived every test possible.
This show presented us with the fact that life is not easy, that we are going to face some really grave moments. But it showed that no matter what is in the future, we can get through it with a good dose of courage, self- reliance, and a strong dose of love and friendship. Love for who and what we are, because we have to feel comfortable in our own skin to be able to give of ourselves.
I am going to miss this show. Oh yeah, like a friend who has moved far away, but the great thing is that this friend has left me with some really great moments that will be part of my life forever.
So, as I sit here with a cup of coffee in my hands and I look back at everything this show has provided, not only to me, but also to so many others, I really believe we have come to the end of a super great era. This is the end of an era of great television, of some really great characters who have touched each and every one of us in a magical way and opened many doors for a future full of excitement.
Yes, her courage really did change the world.
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