Whoosh! Issue 66 - March 2002
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 may be reserved for a later issue.

An Oasis In A Cultural Desert. Part Three: The Cultural Oasis And Conclusion
Gabbashing In The Xenaverse
Kevin Smith, 1963-2002
Pasadena Xena Convention 2002
Renee O'Connor: Phone Home!
Whoosh Life Support

Letters To The Editor

An Oasis In A Cultural Desert. Part Three: The Cultural Oasis And Conclusion

From: SuperBee144
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 9:31 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

An Oasis In A Cultural Desert by Alison Ashworth

Although I enjoyed all three parts of this article I would like to comment on the last one, Part 3 in the February edition of Whoosh. When I first discovered Xena: Warrior Princess back in 1995, I was immediately captivated by the idea of a strong, independent, heroic woman actually being featured in a TV show. This was so unlike what I grew up with, about the same time incidentally, that Rob Tapert did. Unlike Lucy Lawless, I saw the lesbian subtext and accepted it from the first time that I watched XWP back in season one. While I saw the warrior searching for redemption, for me, the story of XWP quickly became a love story of epic and classic proportions. As in the article, I also saw the finale as a further example of the lesbian context in that the death of one of the partners is the typical solution in our heterosexual focused society.

I would like to point out however, that the finale had a disturbing message to me also, as a heterosexual woman. While I can appreciate the disappointment of lesbians in the ending of XWP, I was disappointed too. The fact that our feminine icon was not allowed to survive, her beheading (as bad as that was) to be done by a common male, a man that we had no reason to believe was anything but average, the display of her headless corpse, naked and the suggestive connotations of that, her nakedness and groveling at the feet of her nemesis, her ultimate giving up, her acceptance of defeat, one of the last visions of our hero watching the sunset instead of fighting for a solution. The message of this last episode is unmistakable to both straight and lesbian women.

Unfortunately, the legacy of XWP that could have been, will instead be in what the series has spawned. Entertainment that features capable women in the lead and hopefully that will lead someday to a series featuring a true lesbian character befitting the many lesbians I have come to respect and admire by my involvement in the Xenaverse. It is long overdue, but we were all so close.

Gabbashing In The Xenaverse

From: Paulette Adams
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2002 2:06 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Re: Gab Bashing

I found the article on Gabrielle bashing very informative. I, for one, never saw the need that some "fans" have to bash either character. Bash one character does not prove your loyalty or love for the other. As many already know, Xena and Gabrielle are a unit and soulmates. Without one, the other is simply much less interesting.

When I first viewed the show, my focus was entirely on Xena. But by six episodes, I knew the general crux of her story: girl gone bad and tries to redeem for her past. Sorry, been try, done that, read and seen several shows, books and comics on that storyline. However, Gabrielle's story intrigued me. Why would a young girl (the character was no more than seventeen years old) run away from a loving family and a nice village, to follow a known warlord, especially one with Xena's reputation, even when such warlord really doesn't want her around? There is no evidence on the show that she was abused, and even though she doesn't look like her family members, the show gave no indication that she adopted or such (even though there is a lot of excellent fan fiction dealing with such ideas). All we know (from the show's POV), Gabrielle felt out of place. She didn't run away from a bad situation, just a boring one; and that side note held my interest (until season 3, when I lost all interest in the character Xena).

As far as bashing the actors themselves, the bashers obviously don't understand who is in control of the characters' direction, TPTB [the powers that be] and the writers. It has been reported that on several occasions, Renee expressed her concern about the direction of her character, and some of the actions the writers had her character doing. But if TPTB like the script, there isn't much the actor can do, EXCEPT to do the best they can with the script, which is what both Lucy and Renee did day after day. I don't blame Lucy for Xena's actions during season 3, not do I blame any of the actors for the atrocity of season 5. TPTB and the writers are to blame.

In conclusion, save your time and energy for stating the positive things of your favorite character. Bashing does nothing but promote negative feelings among the numerous camps of the Xena fandom.

Paully Adams

Kevin Smith, 1963-2002

From: Jonathan Law
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 4:43 AM
Subject: Kevin Smith

Today has to be the saddest day ever in the history of the Xenaverse, ever sadder than the day the last episode of Xena aired. All Xenites, all over the world are mourning the tragic loss of the most popular male actor to ever appear in Xena: Warrior Princess. Can we please have a special Whoosh! Edition dedicated to the memory of the late and very great Kevin Smith and his character Ares? Thank you.

Kindest Regards on this Tragic Day,

Kym Taborn responds

Thank you for your thoughts. This year we are going to suspend our annual April Fool's Day Cover and instead have an In Memoriam for the actor Kevin Smith. We plan to offer articles about the actor and his craft, the characters that he brought to life, and share any reminisces or memories his friends, co-workers, and fans have of him. We will be taking submissions up to the very last minute. If the contribution cannot make the April issue, then it will appear in a later issue. Everything accepted will be published, but if you want to have it in the actual April issue, then please turn it in as soon as possible. Send all submissions to Kym at ktaborn@lightspeed.net.

Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 6:05 AM
Subject: Actor Kevin Smith dies after fall in China

Condolences from a Whooshoid Xenite to the Smiths.

From: Deborah Jack
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2002 9:40 PM
Subject: Kevin Smith's Passing

Oh, my God.

It keeps repeating itself in my head- he died. This enormous talent, this incredible actor... is dead.

I am struck by this single human being's passing because I was made aware of him through television. I cannot even imagine the depth of the grief that the people who actually knew and loved him are feeling.

As an actor, Kevin brought wonderful vicarious experiences to those of us who could only dream of running around, brandishing a sword and hanging out with other cool characters on _Xena_. We got to live- through Kevin's talent for communication- in a fantasy world for an hour or so a week. He made us feel something new about his characters every time he played them.

Alexander Pope said: "Act well your part, there all the honor lies."

Pope may not have been speaking directly about acting as in the theatre, but it does apply.

And it is the tiniest of consolations to me- as a fan as well as an actor- that Kevin Smith did, indeed, act well his part.

And millions of people will remember him- and smile. I know I will.

Deborah Jack

Pasadena Xena Convention 2002

From: Susan Solomon
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2002 4:14 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I went to Pasadena , and despite the sad news of Kevin Smith's death, enjoyed the convention. However, something really has to be done about the long lines of people telling the stars "I just want to say how much I love you, do you remember me from the last convention and can I have a hug?" No one should have to hug all those people and we shouldn't have to wait while they do it. It seemed to me that the questions were much more intelligent when the audience members just stood up and yelled. As soon as they get in that line three-fourths of them go brain-dead. I'm going to write Sharon Delaney about it. I suggest everyone who's ever sat through thirty or forty hug-fests in a row and hated it join me.

Renee O'Connor: Phone Home!

From: C.C. Geer
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 7:48 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Thanks for hanging in there through all the tough times and thank you for all the fantastic work you've done to keep Whoosh on line. It is a lifeline for all us hard-core nutballs!!!

I've got a question for you. Where the heck is there any media on Renee O'Connor as of the show's ending? She's a mother- not dead. It's like she's dropped off the face of the earth. I'd love to read an interview about her retrospective thoughts on the show, how it ended, motherhood and her plans for the future. I miss her and if I do I'll bet a lot of people do!

Thanks a lot
Chris Geer

Whoosh Life Support

From: Cath
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 7:19 AM
Subject: Ouch! -- Whoosh!

Thanks for hanging in there despite the server problems. Whoosh! continues to inform and entertain, and beautifully celebrates this most special series about the love between a Warrior Princess and a Battling Bard.

Kym Taborn responds:
Thank you for your well appreciated sentiments! We are definitely hanging in there through not just server problems, but staffing problems and other stuff. When it rains it pours, but heck -- we are still here! Thanks for visiting the site. Everyone who works on this site enjoys to have the fruits of their labors shared and, most importantly, enjoyed.

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