Whoosh! Issue 63 - December 2001
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" to expedite the process. All letters received by 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.

A Rift Within a Rift or, An Independent Odyssey: THE DEBT
The Night Of The Opportune Apology
Inside the Head of Series
Site Reorganization
Bitter Suite Blowback
Favorite Episodes
Worst Episodes

Letters To The Editor

A Rift Within a Rift or, An Independent Odyssey: THE DEBT

From: Andrew Shaughnessy
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2001 8:47 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Congratulations to jammer@senet.com.au on her excellent article "A Rift within a Rift, or, an Independent Odyssey: The Debt". It was a real pleasure to read something as well researched and thought out as this - the historical and geographical facts alone made it worthwhile.

jammer@senet.com.au states that Xena reached Ch'in far too quickly. This is especially true if she left from a Mediterranean port, as it would have entailed sailing right round Africa. The alternative, that she and Gabrielle instead travelled overland to a port on the shores of the Indian Ocean, causes another problem. Such a journey would have taken days, if not weeks, yet Xena reached only the midpoint of a story that could have been told in an hour. This is simply unbelievable.

As for THE DEBT being unsuitable for children, I agree with jammer@senet.com.au on this point. Incredibly, when the UNCUT episodes of Season 3 were released in the UK earlier this year, the tape featuring both parts of THE DEBT (together with THE DELIVERER and GABRIELLE'S HOPE) was passed as suitable for viewers aged 12 or older while the other five tapes all carried the higher "15" certificate!

For me THE DEBT marked the beginning of the end for the Gabrielle I had come to know and love. TPTB completely changed her character during Seasons 3 and 4, then largely ignored her throughout Seasons 5 and 6, something I will be addressing in an upcoming article. THE DEBT, for all its drama and high production values, marked a swing towards the "Xena is always right, Gabrielle is always wrong" philosophy of later seasons. It also indicated a shift from accurate characterisation to increasingly grandiose story arcs. Both of these led to catastrophic falls in viewing figures, and as such THE DEBT was also the beginning of the end for XWP itself.

The Night Of The Opportune Apology

From: Ogami
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 8:49 PM
Subject: Issue 62 Editorial (fwd)

I just wanted to drop a note on your editorial, I had to actually save the HTML webpage that had Lucy's comments, as "Xena's Final Word". A fitting close to my CD-R collection of Xena internet pages, pictures, and stories.

Lucy's comments about how "certain" fans latched onto the concept of soulmates got my attention, that's precisely why I became a fan fiction writer in the first place. Perhaps such a love is a fantasy, but it gave some of us hope that such a love existed, even between two fictional characters like Xena and Gabrielle.

Should I feel grateful at Lucy's belated apology? Of course, she didn't owe any in the first place, the show is what it is. If she had any qualms about the merits of the final story, the time to say something has passed. It doesn't really matter now, I guess. But even after all these months, I am still firm in my resolve never to buy or see anything even remotely associated with Rob Tapert or RJ Stewart. They eradicated their fanbase.

The real world moves on, the chance of a Xena movie is about zero now, as you noted. I think the fate of the theatrical movie was sealed when the producers deliberately flushed the 5th season down a sleazy toilet. Perhaps if Lucy can now realize the fan reaction, her husband can figure out why his ratings collapsed. It wasn't vague market trends.

But I shouldn't dwell on the negative. Many fan fiction bards wrote about the love they saw on the show. Perhaps it will inspire a future generation of writers to give us something like the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, without the stripped corpse at the end. What was that about not dwelling? ;) I guess I meant to say that fan devotion on the internet meant a lot, perhaps some good will come out of it later.

This will unfortunately be my last letter to Whoosh. Real life calls, and I will be away from the Internet for a very long time. I leave my Xena fan fiction page up as a testament to one fan's love of the concept of soulmates, may the IDEAL live on. :)


Inside the Head of Series

From: solo
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 4:51 PM
Subject: Whoosh articles

I love your "Inside the Head of..." series. Thanks.

Susan Solomon

Site Reorganization

From: Angie
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2001 9:58 AM
Subject: site reorg

125 attagirls to you, Kym!! (to be cashed in at your convenience)

Have had to be away from Whoosh for the past couple of weeks (severe withdrawal symptoms in the meantime).

Today, on return, when I knocked on your door, what a wonderful way to be greeted! You've completely done

over the place, and it looks mahvelous, dahling.

Kym, you put in an incredible amount of energy on this site, and so much love. What a gift and a blessing. Any while we're blessing, here's to your family for sharing you with us.

Thank you.

Bitter Suite Blowback

From: Michael Rewalker
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 10:06 AM
Subject: Calendar Issue Submission

Xena and Gabrielle have killed each other's children, hate each other and have now tried to kill each other. How shall we resolve this? I know! Let's put on a show! AND IT WORKS!

Favorite Episodes

From: Rolando Celedón
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2001 4:47 AM
Subject: Calendar Vote

It's very difficult for me to have only 12 favorites episodes because I really have many favorites episodes (many more than any other show that I have forever seen); for example :

(68/322) Sacrifice, Part 2
(111/521) Eve
(112/522) Motherhood

Unfortunately, the last season have not been on air neither on my local tv stations nor my local cable tv; but, by reading the synopsis on your websites, I think anyway the episodes that I list will be my favorites. Why ?, they have the main elements for me :

A great history and really great opponent !!!.(plus some funny scenes)

By the way, of course, Callisto is my Xena's favorite villain; but I believe the history around her had a very poor "end". Callisto had real and powerful reasons to be "bad"; therefore, It was an excellent chance to see how to turn on "good" to a "bad" person. The "solution" of the Xena's writers was really very bad (of course, in my opinion, the episodes around it were the worst)

Best Regards,
A friend from Colombia

From: Xena407
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2001 11:08 AM
Subject: Calendar Issue Submission


why - well there are really a lot of great ,fantastic episodes in the 6 year running of Xena we all know that, and of course it really would be extreamly hard to really pick one out of the many right - well not really for me , yes there are fabulous episodes in a multitude but this one sticks out for a reason. Lucy's abillity to show that she is multi-talented. think of it, triple lucy wrapped up all together in one episode? can you ask for anything else.

Sure she play's herself Xena the warrior princess but she plays licia the hestian virgin priestess and our loveable tramp, bar maid meg -sort of the comic relief of the 3.and those who have seen this episode should agree about lucy's loonecy of having fun on the set , renee knows of this and so does ted. so my pick of the multitude of fantastic episodes warrior,priestess,tramp still holds as my favorite episode of all time.

Worst Episodes

From: Dafydd Galahad
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2001 11:45 AM
Subject: letters to the Editor: 12 worst episodes

Studios USA privatized Ren Pics with the specific purpose of censoring the Sub-text and ramming their Fundamentalist, Homophobic Religion down our throats. They didn't care how many fans they drove away; Tapert made a big deal of apologizing for BITB and then continued with two more seasons of non-stop Catholicism.

1) Blood-Innocence.

DEATHMASK, Xena says "Killing in battle or self-defence is fine. The pure evil of murder is that it is premeditated." Gabrielle believed that "killing people is wrong, therefore killing bad people is wrong."

Under Lao Ma's and Eli's tutelage, this was twisted into "killing bad people is so wrong, that it is a moral duty to kill good people to protect bad people."

TD Gabrielle betrays Xena to protect Mong Tien.

ITOTKO The bounty hunter is proclaimed to be totally justified trying to murder Xena. Likewise, Xena's friends are proclaimed totally evil for protecting her.

TC Joxer is evil for killing Armani's father in self-defence. Najarra is a holy saint when she fights Xena to protect the slave-bosses. Gab may not hit baddies with a stick to make them run away. Oh no, that would be violent. The non-violent method is to disable them with a pepper-spray while her friend kills them. That's not violent at all.

T Malthus tries to kill people. Xena says "If you do that again, I will kill you." She doesn't. He tries to kill people again. She says "I'll kill you." And doesn't. etc, etc, etc.

F Tara is justified in hitting Gab, Gab is evil for defending herself.

Eventually, these baroque thought-forms collapse under the weight of their own contradictions and by FA, SOF, Gab's blood-innocence has become the true creed of every Religious Fanatic and Aryan Skinhead, "killing people is wrong: non-believers are non-people." She is perfectly happy to murder Xena just because Michael says so.

2) Five-Minute-itis

Classical X:WP often had a little sermon tacked on the end. And that was fine, they had entertained us right royally and had EARNED the right to preachify. The doctrine was touchy-feely Liberalism - let's all get along.

When the doctrine became Fundamentalist Catholicism, Fear and Loss, Misery and Guilt, with no hope of Redemption, then every episode is non-stop sermonizing and the plot-line has to be finished in the last 5 minutes.

The over-used method is to suddenly endow Xena with magical powers.

TD she suddenly becomes a poltergeist.

TW she turns into an evil spider-god.

BITB She already has magic, but not enough to beat the daughter and in the last 5 minutes, she suddenly has more power. It would have been so easy to turn BITB into a story: send Gab to steal the Mystic Dib-dob from the ruined temple: just at the climax, Gab brings the talisman. But no. Gab must be the useless tag-along. If she was sent away on a useful mission, it would dilute the purity of sending her away so that Xena could spend her time with Lao Ma's evil daughter.

ITOTKO TPTB take 55 minutes telling us that self-defence is the very soul of wickedness and then it's the last 5 minutes - er, the horse did it and it's OK because the horse acted in self-defence.

FA Last 5 minutes, Eli suddenly decides to resurrect XG. Why? Because it's the last 5 minutes. How difficult would it have been to give him a reason? Amarice pulls a knife on him. Eli is counting the million dinar bounty and realizes that he can resurrect Xena and sell her for another million. Ares tells Eli all the misery and pain he has planned for XG in seasons 5 and 6. They can't be bothered with reasons anymore.

SEEDS OF FAITH could have been a glorious opportunity to use Five-Minute-it is and make a wonderful story. In every other show, James Bond, Conan the Barbarian, Fu Manchu, GIRLS WANNA HAVE FUN, if you kill the evil wizard, his Castle automatically explodes and the beautiful women he enslaved go free. No chance.

FIN In comparison with the series, this is the last five minutes. The sudden appearance of the hungry ghosts conveniently converts the show into the world's first 66 hour Lesbian Snuff Movie. A 'Master Vision' indeed.

3) Soulmates versus Subtext

When we first heard that XG were soulmates, we thought it was wonderful. Their Love would flourish and blossom through the centuries and we could all bask and wallow in the glory thereof. We thought soulmates meant something special. No such luck.

Eli turned X into the hero with a thousand soulmates, each them infinitely more important in her life than G could ever aspire to be.

Lao Ma in THE DEBT #8 worst episode. Tara in FORGIVEN #5 worst. Callisto in FALLEN ANGEL #11. Eli in SEEDS OF FAITH #6. Lao Ma's evil daughter in BACK IN THE BOTTLE #4. Marc Antony in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA #7. Akemi and the hungry ghosts in FRIEND IN NEED #12.

The Irish proverb says 'A stranger is a friend you haven't met yet.' Eli disciple Xena's version is "A stranger is a soulmate I haven't betrayed Gabby for, YET.'

Studios USA weren't satisfied with ripping up the subtext and trampling it into the dung-heap. It wasn't enough for them to say "No sex please, we're Catholics." They had to add "No friendship please, we're Catholics." On the rare occasions that are XG are in the same scene, they try to murder each other. FALLEN ANGEL #11, seeds of faith #6.

Even this ain't enough. TPTB insist that XG never were friends. Every tender moment must be denied and defiled by Revisionist Historians.

4) Revisionist History

One Against an Army Gabrielle says "Xena, when we were in China, I never meant to hurt you.' TPTB make FORGET ME NOT #9 to say 'Oh, yes she did.'

The fire-side chat in CALLISTO Cyrrha was the only time Xena made war on women and children. Starting with THE DEBT #8, TPTB made a whole slew of flashbacks saying 'Oh, yes, she did.'

XENA: Don't ever change, I like you just the way you are.

GAB: Xena, promise me, if something happens to me, you won't become a monster.

THE Xena Scrolls Xena tells Janice 'Gabrielle was never useless.'

THE WAY #1 worst ever episode changes Gabrielle into the useless tag-along, the blonde harpy, the peroxide psychopath and Xena becomes an evil spider god.

And then in THE CONVERT #3, Xena has to say she actually prefers Gabrielle as a peroxide psychopath.

THE BITTER SUITE resolved the Rift. XG could love and laugh again. But there is no end to the Rift. The Guilt and Misery go on for ever : FORGIVEN, FORGET ME NOT, FALLEN ANGEL, SEEDS OF FAITH, FRIEND IN NEED.

One Against an Army Xena says 'Even in death, Gabrielle, I will never leave you.'

And TPTB immediately riposte the next week with FORGIVEN, P*ss off Gabby, I've got a new little friend.

FRIEND IN NEED #12. Xena goes off with her 40,000 soulmates and leaves Gabrielle to wander the Earth alone and friendless for ever.

5 Morality

The Liberalism of seasons 1-3 taught Love and Peace and taking responsibility for your actions. The Catholicism of seasons 4-6 reduces Good and Evil into just names for sides. Good and Evil are nothing to do with personal choices and actions. Callisto is forcibly baptized and she is automatically good. Gab is forced to eat the apple and she is eternally evil. Xena is evil because Gab is in Heaven and both the Bats and the Gulls are agreed on keeping XG separate. The Bats and Gulls have no moral difference between them. Neither side fights for Land and Freedom. Neither side wants what the others have. Their only war-aim is complete Genocide of the others, pure Race-War to suit Gab-in-Hell's Aryan Skinhead haircut.

Family Values asserts that Lesbian Love must be punished FA, FIN. All women are either virgins or prostitutes ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. How do we know the Pope is Polish? When he comes to a country, he kisses the ground and walks all over the women.

There can be no hope of Redemption. That was Xena's original mission and we spent 6 years being led up the garden path and dumped in the unpleasaunce FIN.

It is because XWP seasons 1-3 was so magnificent that it still hurts me that such glory was so comprehensively defiled.

Life imitates Art: a month after weeping for fictional people we knew and loved, we weep for thousands of real people whom we never met, all slaughtered for the greater glory of the One True God.

Dafydd ap Thomas

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