Whoosh! Issue 17 - February 1998
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". All letters notated "to the editor" are subject to publication and may be edited for brevity and or clarity.

Romantic Friendship Revisited
Xena And The Fonz
Calendar Woes
Calendar Question
No! To The Men Of XWP
Yes! To The Men Of XWP
Indifferent! To The Men Of XWP
Why We Do Whoosh!
Disappointed With Gabrielle's Hope
Disappointed With a Lot More Than Gabrielle'S Hope
Can't Get Enough Of Those Ratings!
Tired Of Re-Runs
Canadian Convert Who's Got It Bad
Lyrics To Burial Song
More Xena Xposure

Letters To The Editor

Romantic Friendship Revisited

[Whoosh! No. 14 (November 1997), "Xena and Gabrielle: A Revisitation of the Classic Romantic Friendship", by Sherri Johnson]

Fri, 2 Jan 1998
Subject: letter to the editor

I was extremely pleased to read Sherrie Johnson's "Xena and Gabrielle: A Revisitation of the Classic Romantic Friendship" Being both a fan of Whoosh!, XWP, and Lillian Faderman, I found Johnson's analysis quite compelling. Although I am an ardent fan of the subtext, what I have always found most compelling about the show is the emotional relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. I simply don't care if they have sex. Sex is a wonderful expression of emotion (well, in some cases), but is not the end-all-be-all of a relationship's existence. Some people choose to have sex follow emotionality, some don't. Whether it does or not in Xena and Gabrielle's case is besides the point. What they have is a wonderful romantic friendship, and just like the Victorian women, we'll never know what goes on behind the writing (or the screen) because that's up for us to decide. Just as some people take Emily Dickinson's writings to her husband's sister in either sexually oriented or emotionally oriented ways, so too is XWP meant to be seen in both lights as well. What is important is that XWP provides a cultural icon of love, either friendly romantic or sexually romantic, between two women, something that has disappeared for a long time.


Xena And The Fonz

[Whoosh! No. 15 (December 1997), "Dark Characters With "Good Hearts. A Comparison Of Xena And Fonzie", by Fran Waxman]

Wed, 7 Jan 1998
Subject: Letter to Editor

I really enjoyed the similarities between "The Fonz" and "Xena", by Fran Waxman in "Dark Characters With "Good Hearts. A Comparison Of Xena And Fonzie". I found this project to be very interesting and true. I too watched "Happy Days" as a kid and I do see the same similarities between Xena and the Fonz. Since I loved Happy Days and never missed an episode, I can now see why I have been so obsessed by XWP and why I never miss an episode. The two are alike and both seem to work their way into your heart, leaving you feeling strong inside after every show. I'm glad that Fran has brought these similarities to our attention and once again I really enjoyed this one!


Calendar Woes

[Whoosh! No. 16 (January 1998), "The 1998 Men of Xena: Warrior Princess Calendar", by Kym Taborn, Betsy Book, Christine Kearns, and Tom Simpson]

Wed, 14 Jan 1998
Subject: 1998 Calendar

I just printed out the 1998 calendar. It's a great idea. However, I was surprised that John D'Aquino (Ulysses) was not included. An entire episode was centered on Ulysses and the love he had for Xena. I don't understand it, what happened?

D.C. Bona

Editor Responded:
The men were assigned calendar space according to the vote they received from the IAXS members. About six months ago the members were polled and asked who they wanted to see on a calendar. We tallied up the votes and assigned the men to the months accordingly, January received the most, February received the next, etc. I am sorry to say that Ulysses did not receive enough votes to get into the top twelve.

Calendar Questions

[Whoosh! No. 16 (January 1998), "The 1998 Men of Xena: Warrior Princess Calendar", by Kym Taborn, Betsy Book, Christine Kearns, and Tom Simpson]

Friday, January 23, 1998
Subject: Whoosh! question

Tony [Todd] would like to know how the decision was made to make Cecrops ht 6'1 and wt 190.... we got a kick out of it, since Tony himself is quite a bit bigger... was it some kind of official bio of Cecrops, or were they guessing... thanks.

Jana Peterson

Betsy Book Responded:
Uh-oh. I knew those stats were going to get me into trouble! Hee hee. Well, Jana, it really was just a complete and total guessing game on my part. And I'm really bad at randomly guessing physical measurements. I only wish there had been an official bio to draw from. In retrospect, what I should have done is make everyone 6'7" to highlight the irony of the calendar. I hope Tony isn't psychologically scarred for life by one fan's bad judgement. Tell him that we love Cecrops no matter what height he really is.

Kym Taborn Responded:
I spoke with Kevin Smith during the Burbank Convention (01/98) and he was very impressed with Ares' stat of 6'7". Next year everyone will be 6'7".

No! The Men of Xena

[Whoosh! No. 16 (January 1998)]

Sun, 04 Jan 1998
Subject: January WHOOSH

While I generally enjoy Whoosh! and find the best information there, I thought the January issue with its all male articles was a bore. This show is about Xena and Gabrielle and I'd love to read more about Lao Ma. This issue feels like old female conditioning to pay attenion to men. I watch the show because it breaks ground for women and is fun but we don't need any more places including XWP (THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN) to tell women that they'd best be nice to men.

Peggy A. Luhrs

Yes! The Men of Xena

[Whoosh! No. 16 (January 1998)]

Fri, 2 Jan 1998
Subject: Whoosh! calendar

I love this calendar! The pictures you guys chose are great! My, we have such clever people in the Xenaverse.


Sun, 4 Jan 1998
Subject: Letter to the editor

Hi, I just wanted to comment -- First of all, I think the men of Xena issue is fantastic! I just love it. I do have a couple of observations to make, though. First, under the Cupid URL, it says that he is the "great-nephew" of Ares. That is most certainly not the case. He's just his nephew. Though I do agree Cupid is "great" (G).

Also, I took great offense at the Ulysses post. Why would someone choose to write on him if they hated him so terribly. Most of the summaries were fairly objective or complimentary, but Ulysses was trashed. And the things were stated as if they were facts. Some of us think he and Xena had terrific chemistry and that his acting was just fine. I, for one, did not find him to be plastic man.

Thanks for a terrific resource for one of my favorite shows.

Kimberly Dull

Editor Responded:
Thank you for enjoying the Men Of XWP (January 1998). It was definitely a different type of issue for us. We don't want to get stale before our time, so we are dedicated to trying out new ways of expressing our Xena neurotic obsessiveness. In the past we have had an All-Convention issue (commemorating the first Burbank Con back in January 1997), an All-Amazon issue, and now an All-Men issue. Our next scheduled special issues are an All-Gabrielle issue for June 1998, and an all Fan-Fic issue for October 1998.

As to Cupid, yes, he is the nephew of Ares. It seems the material on the link is erroneous. But hey, it's still a nice page! And colorful. We like to link to colorful webpages!

As to Ulysses, well, what can I say? The guy just inspires a lot of pondering.

Sat, 03 Jan 1998
Subject: Letter to the editor

After reading much raving about your calendar on the Herk ML, I surfed over for a peek. WOW! I am downloading it as I type, you all did a fantastic job. Many thanks for including our illustrious Golden Hunter! I also love that many of the guys are pictured reclining, perfect for appreciating them on the wall. (yum!)

Sue Silvester
Diehard Iolausian

Indifferent! The Men of Xena

[Whoosh! No. 16 (January 1998)]

Thu, 08 Jan 1998
Subject: Letters to the Editor

Dear Editors,

I just looked through your list of male characters in Xena. There you say that Cupid is Aphrodite's blond, grownup son. I may be mistaken, but I thought Cupid was the little winged baby, and the adult god was Eros. Also -- having been living in Japan during the early days of the Herc and Xena shows, I never got to see their beginnings. One entry in your character list says that, while Xena was still evil, she was actually beating Hercules in a fight!! -- and that Herc was only saved by someone distracting Xena? Is that what was depicted? If so, that is going too far with political correctness. The writers obviously want Xena to be superior to every male ever born to mortal parents, but are we really supposed to swallow that she is superior to the son of Zeus? That I'll swallow on the day Lucy Lawless can win a fistfight with Evander Holyfield.

Joseph "Copperfox" Ravitts

Editor Responded:
Actually Cupid is the Roman/Latin form of the original Greek god, Eros. In the Xenaverse, Cupid is the Greek god, and he is the adult child of Aphrodite.

As to the second matter, that refers to a controversy between some Xena and Hercules fans concerning a scene on the Hercules episode, THE GAUNTLET (H12.112). The HERK camp contends that in the scene Hercules was winning and would have beaten the ****ens out of Xena had Hercules been of that persuasion. However, the Xena camp usually points out that under the cir***stances, Xena was about to kabob Hercules. BUT FOR Illoran, Hercules' nephew, distracting Xena by trying to jump on her, Herk could have been dead meat. This is one of those eternal mysteries. Both sides have their arguments and they are keeping to them. Since we are a publication who clearly supports the Xena partisans, we prefer the interpretation that Xena was beating the pants off Hercules at that time.

Why We Do Whoosh!

Sat, 03 Jan 1998
Subject: Letters To The Editor

Hello from OZ land to everyone at Whoosh!

I'm already a dedicated Whooshite (a new term in the Xenaverse!) and a huge fan of all of you people who've put together the thing. I love your work and thank you all!!! However I want to know whether any of you get paid to run Whoosh. The site is awesome and it's hard for me to believe that anyone would sit down and do sooooo much work on a project if they don't get paid to do it... or maybe you folks are just in the lethal stages of The Xena Weekly Withdrawal Symptom just like me, hey??? hee-heee-heee


Editor Responded:
Thank you for your kind letter. No one on the WHOOSH staff is paid. Actually, most are paying for the privilege of serving as staff (the most virulent form of Xena obsession known to humankind). This entire site was established and is maintained by contributions of money and labor from the staff and other contributors. I used your letter as an opportunity to invite staff members who are not heard from as frequently as perhaps they should to answer your letter from their perspective.

Bret Rudnick (Executive Committee) Responded:
Thanks for reading Whoosh! and thanks for the kind words about it. Everyone on staff here works on Whoosh! either because they're in love with the work and the show, or they have severe problems, or combinations of the two. No one on staff here gets paid any money whatsoever, and Whoosh! is completely free to anyone with WWW access. Speaking for myself personally, I devote anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week to Whoosh!, and I shudder to think how many thousands of dollars on travel, equipment, etc.. I suppose everyone has a hobby and/or a vice, and Whoosh! is mine. In return, however, I've been able to meet a wide variety of wonderful people, and Whoosh! has given me memories to last a lifetime.

Beth Gaynor (Coder, Episode Guide Writer) Responded:
Oh, my, volunteerism can't possibly be that dead. I code much of the HTML for Whoosh, which nobody ever really sees, and write episode commentaries, which a frightening number of people see, and there's two main reasons I think of immediately when I get asked "Why?"

First off, writing HTML code and episode opinions is a way for me to give something back to the show and the fans that I enjoy so much. XWP has given me more hours of entertainment than I really want to count, and the online fan community has provided megabytes of comments and Deep Thoughts, jokes and parodies that have left me on the floor laughing, and a season and a half of video tapes. When I have a perfect opportunity in front of me to do something that gives back to all those folks -- the show and the fans -- just a wee bit, how can I not?

Secondly, plain and simple, it's a kick to see my name in lights. To share my thoughts about my favorite show with so many people. To have such an amazingly loud voice that the web in general and Whoosh! in particular offer. At the Valley Forge convention, my knees almost buckled out from under me when a stranger came up and asked "Is it true you're Beth Gaynor?" (And I got that question more than once -- that was just my favorite wording of it.) So don't let the first reason make us look TOO saintly -- we're doing it for the love of the show, but there's ego there, too.

Working on Whoosh! is a chance to be involved and have some fun. Yup, it's heap big gobs of work sometimes, but it's worth it when someone sends email who has seen my work and wants to talk more about the show, or I can offer a hand to someone who's new to the show and wants to learn more (just like others did for me when I was a voracious newbie), or someone involved in the show mentions seeing our work, even if it's in passing. That's the high that keeps me doing it.

Darise Error (Assistant Editor) Responded:
Working on Whoosh! is the kind of job they couldn't pay me enough to do (too many hours, too much loss of sleep, etc.), yet I enthusiastically do it for free. It's a "what I did for love" kind of thing. I love the show, the characters, and the performers. This is my way of giving something back. (Plus, I get to read all the essays and interviews in advance, a nice perk!)

Tricia (Member of the Original Board of Directors, IAXS Webmaster) Responded:
Why I do what I do.......

I returned to IAXS not too long ago and began re-building it's website. So, not only did I do what I do before, but I actually came back to do what I do again!

For me, it all started back in 1996. Kym, who was probably the most phenomenal best friend of my life for many years, emailed me one day and said "Let's start a website about Xena". I said, "Sure. Why not!" I had only just begun to watch the show and was drawn in by their portrayal of an intense friendship between two women. Strong female characters who could hold their own against whatever evils crossed their paths. I was hooked. So, Kym came up with the name "International Association of Xena Studies" or "IAXS" and I delved into the creation of a website. She was the Big Kahuna and I was the vice Kahuna. It wasn't too long before we were getting some pretty good hits and getting some interesting reviews. Within a few months IAXS had been mentioned or featured in magazines and newspapers world-wide. It was expanding in leaps and bounds with Xena Media Review, This Week In Xena News, the FAQS, Links, Guestbooks, etc.... The site was fun, purposeful, and popular, and people were steadily joining and assisting in various duties. When the time came to expand more, Kym began discussing the Online Journal Idea. She decided on "Whoosh!" for it's title and before too long the first issue went online. The rest is history.

Though I did do an article and some episode summaries for the Journal, most of the work I've done has been on IAXS itself. There were many times when I'd spend 8 to 15 hour days working on graphics, PR, design, and content. I think I do what I do because I enjoy it. No, I don't get paid for it.

Today IAXS and Whoosh! are a joint effort done by many talented and hard working people in honor of an extraordinary television show and its equally extraordinary cast and crew. It is a labor of love and dedication.

Disappointed With Gabrielle's Hope

Sat, 15 Nov 1997
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Dear Kym

I recently watched the episode entitled "Gabrielle's Hope." I absolutely hated it! Gabrielle is supposed to be a symbol of purity and goodness. By having that baby she inadvertently gave up that position. I have been a faithful fan of Xena's since the show began and I shall continue to be but what the writers have one to Gabrielle's character is horrible. In my opinion, Gabrielle has been exposed to something she really shouldn't have been. Someone as good as Gabrielle should be able to keep her child, to avoid as much pain as she did, to live happily without those complexities involved. I know my summary of my views sounds somewhat outdated and that all characters should grow, and so on and so forth, but this episode seems so wrong! It's like an overwhelming sense of ickiness you get after watching the show. Oh, and Gabrielle lying to Xena!!! Talk about going out of character. Frankly, I basically think the show sucked big time and it should be fixed, pronto! Also, from what I have been reading about upcoming shows, Gabrielle is only going to get worse.


Disappointed With a Lot More Than Gabrielle's Hope

Fri, 23 Jan 1998
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I have to comment on what is currently happening on the XWP tv series. I'm not a snob, but I select tv shows very carefully and while Xena and Gabrielle may be in a somewhat different category than Jane Tennison or Brother Cadfael or even a Christiane Amanpour CNN report, I was very drawn to this show because of the loving commitment between two female characters, who are at the same time very strong and endearing. Besides that the show is (was) also extremely entertaining, often funny due to the obvious comedic talents displayed by Ms. Lawless and Ms. O'Connor. However, in what I perceive as a cheap shot for ratings and in true Hollywood style (even though the show is filmed overseas), the creators of this show have opted to throw in betrayal, conflict and the worst possible scenario - a mother who loses her child and blames her closest friend, causing an unspeakable rift. I see this as cutting right into the heart of the show because even if this is resolved the fact that it happened at all is a permanent tear in the fabric of this story. No matter what obstacles presented themselves the heroines always had each other to rely on for love, comfort, support and companionship....

Ariadne de la Montagne

Can't Get Enough Of Those Ratings!

Sun, 21 Dec 1997
Subject: Ratings info is the best


I just wanted to tell you what an amazing job you're doing with this site. It's my favorite, and I think it's the best Xena Page on the net. The best part about this site is the ratings info!!! I love it. I hope you'll be able to continue the great work that you are doing. I also hope you will display all the ratings for every episode.

Keep up the good work, and you can count on me to visit your site every week for I can't wait to see what are the ratings for some of my favorite episodes of Xena. I hope you can take care of that soon.

Mariusz Krolczynski

Tired Of Re-Runs

Sun, 28 Dec 1997
Subject: Xena: Rerun Princess

This is too much. I can't take anymore rehashed episodes of Xena: Rerun Princess. It used to be a first run shows ran from September thru April/May with reruns left for the summer. Its been months now since an original episode. What's the deal? Writers ran out of ideas? Contract disputes? I know this series has more productions costs than most other series...but really...showing the same show at least three times in as many months is kind of ridiculous, don't you think?


Canadian Convert Who's Got It Bad

Sun, 30 Nov 1997
Subject: Whoosh! membership

I've known for years that I'm an obsessive-compulsive personality, but even through my Star Trek TNG phase I was never like this! I actually find I am now anal enough about XWP to appreciate comments such as, how come Gabrielle took five steps for her three step head start?

Believe it or not, I only started watching XWP last Spring. I found Whoosh! last week and have printed all of the episode updates, and read them. I confess to having gone to bookstores to find any books on XWP, and I've been to the local video stores scanning the shelves. I've been desperate since I've heard that XWP won't come out on tape until next year, and eventually, I've managed to turn virtually every conversation I've had in the past week into a "So do you watch XWP?" conversation.

My best friend, for the past 13 years has officially dubbed me "weird", (I personally enjoyed it when Xena threw the chakram and killed Joxer, rolled over and went back to sleep as Gabrielle nearly lost the bubble...Cool!). My best friend thinks I should not take quite as much pleasure in his death... Aww, come on, let a girl have some fun.

Finally, I confess my obsession has become so intense that I read all the fan fiction I can. Everything! This is particularly odd because I'm not a Lesbian, although I am a romantic, and subsequently believe that Gabrielle and Xena belong together; the trust and honesty they share is of course a fantasy I'd kill (or at least trounce someone thoroughly with an Amazon staff) to have.

What else can I say? Perhaps I appreciate the cynicism with which Xena approaches life; perhaps I appreciate what a marshmallow Xena is not too far below the surface. (I know I don't appreciate "the rift" story line, although I can certainly appreciate what Xena saw in Borias... Oops, sorry, side tracked a moment there).

Maybe I just respect the fact that there is finally an intelligent, independent women on television, regardless of her sexuality, that can think and does not need to be joined at the hip with a man, in order to be capable of speech. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-men, I am just pro-women; and occasionally I get called a sexist for my philosophy that men have their uses but if you let them out of the bedroom you're asking for trouble...).

Well, that's about it. I think I've said far more than you wanted to hear. I certainly hope that I'm not the most fanatical fan you've heard from...but if I am: life's tough, I'll get over it.

Oops, one last thing I haven't seen it yet, but are you aware of anybody who might be in Canada, specifically, Edmonton AB, who might have copies of the XWP episodes... I really need a fix...


Lyrics To Burial Song

Wednesday, December 31, 1997
Subject: Lyrics of the Burial Song

Does anyone of you have the lyrics to "Burial" because I listened to it and I pretty positive that I''ve identified 3 of the words which are in Hebrew or another language that is very close to Hebrew and their meaning.

The words that I've identified are:
"TODA" - in Hebrew means "Thank"
"RABA" - in Hebrew means "Much"
"ALEICHA" - in Hebrew means "On You"

The others words are either I didn't heard them clearly or are not in Hebrew but these ones I'm very sure of. Anyway I hope that one of you has the lyrics of "Burial" so I can check it.


More Xena Xposure

Mon, 29 Dec 1997
Subject: Love the Xena Book

I just love reading the "Xena X-Posed" by Nadine Crenshaw and how she gets in a lot of things that are from WHOOSH. It is really nice to see that in there and knowing that I'm getting a lot of firsthand information before other people. Once again Whoosh! and its people have made another Big Wave in the ocean.


Becky Messick

Bret Rudnick Responded:
Dear Ms. Messick,

Thank you very much for your note of 29 December.

It's very nice of you to notice Whoosh!, and even nicer to notice that Nadine Crenshaw used a lot from Whoosh! in her book. Unfortunately, that's rather a bone of contention between us at Whoosh! and Ms. Crenshaw and her publisher. You see, she never asked us for permission to use any of our material. She never contacted a Whoosh! staffer, and we didn't know about this book until it hit the shelves.

What has upset and offended several of us on staff is the fact that she also did not attribute Whoosh! material properly or cite sources properly. Yes, we were mentioned in the bibliography, but there are many passages in the book that do not attribute properly credit to Whoosh! and Whoosh! authors. In fact, there are several passages in the book that imply the words of the author are her words alone, while in fact they are the words of others.

At best, we feel the book assembled by Ms. Crenshaw is poorly executed, and at worst, we feel there are parts that are downright plagiaristic. For this reason, we have consulted legal counsel on the matter, and in fact are pursuing litigation.

As regards your note, though, it's heartening to note that others see this too. We're glad you saw it first in Whoosh!, and even more glad you recognise this fact. Just because we are an Internet publication does not give others license to use our work without proper permission and credit. And we hope the unfortunate but necessarily protective act of pursuing this matter legally will reiterate our assertion.

To use your wave analogy, we hope to ever remain a crest of a wave, and never to have to resort to pulling others in with the wake that follows. Thanks again for noticing!

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