Lurking Can Be Dangerous (01-04)
The Curse of Having Fans (05-10)
Healing from the Pain (11-16)
What Does It Mean? (17)
A YEAR LATER: STRUCK OUT
Gabrielle had a hard time believing the explanation as well.
Lurking Can Be Dangerous
 I have been in the Xenaverse for way too long. I am one of the non-famous lurkers. Frankly, if it has happened, I have seen it. Now a year has rolled around, and my Saturdays are empty of anything worthwhile to view. I felt a need to break my silence and express how I now feel.
 It has been quite a year. My rectum is still slowly healing from Robert Tapert and company's reaming. At least we got a little comfort when Tapert described his 'Vision' in the Chakram newsletter number 17, where he admited that he lied about not killing the character and then did so. This was his 'artistic' idea, to flip off the fans in general and destroy a good show. (A chance for it to be as great as Star Wars or Star Trek? Now we will never know.)
 I might get an angry hard-on as well if people were telling me how to run my creation. But look how he painted the fans in a couple of episodes: a pair of gay, domineering women dressed up screaming at Tapert to do it their way in SOUL POSSESSION (132/620) and the fans in general as nerds in SEND IN THE CLONES.
 It is common wisdom that it is not good for an acting career to have most of your success coming from a Sci-Fi show. (How many went on to an Oscar-winning career?) It is worse, though, when most of your fandom is of an alternative nature. Two reasons for Tapert to go Hmmmmmm -- but has any other producer gone to such lengths to revile his core fan base?
The Curse of Having Fans
 What is worse specifically in Xena fandom, are the interviews where Lucy Lawless shows her distaste for her fandom under her breath. Facial expressions can speak more then words. She has the rich husband and the money now. Why fake it any longer and be nice? While rolling her eyes and sputtering her loathing, or coining it off to possessive fandom (recent Pavement issue), she has stood by her man and his 'bold' choice. Notice she never explains the 'boldness.' At least Renee O'Connor was smart enough to keep her opinion to herself, letting the fandom believe someone cared.
 Let us be ever so thankful that Tapert threw his freaks a laughing bone by releasing footage where Xena and Gabrielle were together at the end. "This should appease them" (from Video Business magazine, January 14, 2002). Appease whom, I ask? FRIEND IN NEED (133/621 and 134/622) has far more wrong with it than that, but I suppose we should not look a gift horse in the mouth. More amazing is the fact no one noticed the FRIEND IN NEED DVD as another example of Tapert making more profit off the fools that despise him. He knows that the lonely freaks would snatch it up faster than he could spend the profit - yes, some who loathed it bought it because they liked the behind the scene's stuff. Shame on fandom for that or strike one.
 Matters are made worse after reading the interviews of the cast given by Creation Entertainment. Most of the questions stink, and Creation gives wrong information about how fandom feels about the ending. Would it be too much to have any cast member ask real fans or care? No, they must go to a place of greed and milk fans, and more sadly, most fans allow it. Shame on fandom again, or strike two.
 Heartache comes from knowing that for six years, fans are nothing but a novelty and a joke. If Tapert even took the time to look at the fans still pining over this a year later, I bet he would just roar with laughter once more. 'Cut the cord,' as Lucy Lawless said. Probably so she can metaphorically wrap it around a fan's neck and squeeze while rolling in the money she made.
 Not once in any article outside of the Chakram fan club magazine has Lucy Lawless or Robert Tapert ever mentioned all the time and money fandom has donated to charities in their name or their kids' names, or how whenever there was a cause we would band together because we were asked to. If Tapert wanted to blow apart his main character for the millionth time, would it have been too much for him to do it in a manner more respectful of fans who have hung in there for years? Would it been too much to have shown a little caring for a fandom that made Tapert and company rich? Apparently so.
 Every popular actor will have a few handful of fans who will be possible stalkers, but that goes with the territory. However, it appears Lucy Lawless has grouped us all into one huge, stalking freakdom. That is like saying if you were robbed by a tall man, that means all tall men are bad. Why are fans only fans when someone needs money for their charity, and otherwise you are crap?
Healing from the Pain
 I cannot heal from the pain, because in the political Xenaverse, you are to think one way or hit the highway. The ones who liked FRIEND IN NEED -- and believe me there are a few -- and believe Tapert craps potpourri, can express their love all they want. You go against the grain, you are blackballed. I have seen people thrown off lists and have their writing taken down by a webmaster because they had the audacity to say that FRIEND IN NEED sucked and they will never fall for any lie from Tapert or Lucy Lawless again. A few have realized personal gain in Tapert's game, so they have to keep the idea we are all of one mind. 'Yes, Rob, we are a happy lot and we all love you.' NOT!
 The 'Verse' is like a who's who on a totem pole, or should that be toadying poll? You latch on to the hind end of the highest member then the next one latches onto you and so on and so on. All this in the hopes to have your knock off book with characters that look like Xena and Gabrielle, but are in modern times with different names, sold to a not even third rated publishing house.
 Sad thing is, Xena fans all over are known as jokes from the land of misfits or worse. It is sad to see these misfits cling to what they can, knowing they will never be high on that joke of a totem pole. Therefore, they go around worshipping this Mafia and giving them more recognition then they deserve. Thank god I do not write fan fiction, or after this is released, my work would be gone. I already know the flames that are coming. So what! This is a freedom of mind thought and I am sorry, but the Mafia will not control it.
 I heard one reviewer say repeatedly that this was a place of fun. Only if you kiss the hind end of the person ahead of you, I say. The 'Verse can be a good place and has been very good to the cast of Xena, but it also has its darkness. It has blackballing, rumors, shunning of others, word of mouth with no fact to back it up, and fatheaded people. You are sucked into that and you are spit out. You might as well go to Buffy fandom, for you are dead in the Xenaverse.
 People will spread rumors and it will go on and on and no one bothers to check if what is true. Too many survive only by believing the dictum 'kill or be killed.'
 Maybe along with the implication of being with the fringe element by producing sci-fi and fantasy with an alternative audience, this is strike three against us for Tapert. Could he know of all the back-biting and profiteering going on? Nah, that means he was actually showing an interest in any of this. Humorous point: on one list, people who eat, breathe, and crap Lucy Lawless were debating on when her baby was due. One came out and stated that we should give Lawless her privacy, as if she was even reading any of it or would give a flying fig what we would talk about.
What Does It Mean?
 A year later means nothing, just loss. People are still going back and forth on this subject with no end in sight. The powerful in the Xenaverse -- at least from their own perspective -- are still controlling the weaker ones. As for Tapert and company, who are probably laughing on and off when they give Xena or its fandom a rare passing thought, they have moved on, still rich and still not caring less if a fan lived or breathed. This is strike three, and fandom is out.
A forty something husband and father of four. Born and raised in Alabama, soon to be retired engineer, business man, and part time drummer by trade. Hates people who bullsh--. A shoot from the hip kind of guy.
Favorite episode: WHEN FATES COLLIDE
Least favorite episode: All of Season Five