Whoosh! Issue 28 - January 1999
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 with the subject "Letter to 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.

Bret, The Confessor
Gabrielle As Hero
Going Too Far?
And Don't Forget, Indexers Are Sexy, Too
What's It Between Those Two, Anyways?
Squishy Credits
Love That Rat
Angry At ET Online
Alt Tag Shennanigans
And We Think Squishy Credits Are A Problem?
Still In Recovery Over The Third Season
Let's All Just Move To New Zealand
Subtext Vs. Maintext: The Eternal Battle
Commentary On The Crusader Commentary
Another Walking On Sunshine Fan

Letters To The Editor

Bret, the Confessor

Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Civilian Extra

I just read Bret Rudnick's excellent article "Confessions of a Civilian Extra on the Set of XWP" about his experience as an extra on the set of Xena: Warrior Princess. I love reading his articles and this one made me feel as if I were actually there in New Zealand: going through the fittings, the makeup, and meeting the cast and crew.

This article is not only informative; it is also highly entertaining. Many fans have often wondered what it would be like to be on the set as an episode is being filmed. Thanks Bret for this piece of reporting!

I was particularly taken by his descriptions of the actors and meeting Lucy, Renee, and Hudson. The photo's really added to the experience and again, made me feel as if I were there. (I loved the shot of he and Hudson 'hamming it up' for the camera).

I think WHOOSH! (and Xenites in general) are very fortunate to have someone like Bret there to keep us informed and make the whole Xenite experience more vivid.

Thanks so much!


Editor-in-Chief Kym Taborn Responds:

I agree totally. WHOOSH! is extremely fortunate to have Bret Rudnick on our staff and as a part of our Executive Committee. Once we realized what a find he was, we snatched him right up, and since have refused to let him go. We don't even want to ask for a ransom, lest someone free him.

Gabrielle as Hero

Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998
Subject: Response to Shaun Cuttill's essay "Gabriel as Hero"

I read Shaun Cuttill's essay on Gabrielle and thought it was very insightful. Every point she made was indeed flawless, but I kept wanting to suggest some possible (i.e., hopeful) ideas related to the subject of Xena's character. First and foremost is that Xena's character is constructed mainly in terms of black and white; the evil war-lord and (I suppose) the evil war-lord gone good (or as Liz Friedman likes to say "the hero we hope we have within us").

Because Xena views herself in such extreme measures, her redemption becomes impossible. She reiterates this direct refusal to forgive herself when she stands outside the temple of Apollo while Gabrielle and Tara are inside being absolved for their sins. Also, she frequently repeats that she expects no forgiveness from her victims (even her mother's forgiveness seemed a little shaky to me...). Limited by this view of herself, Gabrielle becomes the weight and line by which Xena fathoms the darkest regions of her soul. For Xena, she represents all the shades of gray in between darkness and light; all that is capable of misdeed but is essentially good. This accounts for the reason the bard's character is so much more flexible in terms of development---through simpler and smaller transgressions and (you could say) progressions.

Gabrielle is permitted to question (and even torment herself over) all the possibilities between good and evil that Xena's character (by virtue of its polar construction) is not. Hence, she necessarily becomes the medium by which Xena deconstructs and reconstructs herself. Gabrielle's deconstruction and reconstruction of character, then, can be viewed as a microcosm for Xena's own subtle path to redemption. In other words, if Gabrielle can break her code by taking a life (Gabrielle's single murder as a microcosm of Xena's many) and still manage to find herself ultimately worthy of forgiveness and redemption (though shaken to her very foundation), then Xena, too, may begin to beat out a path to her own seemingly impossible redemption, and the even more difficult path to self-forgiveness. I think this too is the reason why Gabrielle seems so much more necessary to Xena's well being then Xena does to hers.

Also, I think that Xena's recent struggle in which she acknowledges the pain she causes Gabriel "I seem to hurt her," in CRUSADER (a darker echo of the WHEN IN ROME conversation on the ship home) is a solid sign that some of Xena's foundations are beginning to give way. If Xena cannot take care of Gabrielle, than she cannot take care of herself. Solving this conundrum, I believe, will be essential to her "reconstruction" as Shaun so brilliantly have defined it.

Liz Stein
Somerville, MA


Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998
Subject: Re: Why Joxer is seen as a threat...

While I disagreed with some of this article, I found it quite reasonable.

I do agree that there needs to be a resolution to Joxer's unrequited love for Gabrielle. However, disliking loose ends, I think it should be resolved, rather than being simply dropped.

I am an unabashed Joxer fan. However, I feel that it would be a mistake for Gabrielle and Joxer to get together. A *mutual* decision that they aren't made for each other romantically, I would consider to be a good resolution. But getting rid of the unrequited love would be good for the show. I feel it only adds unnecessary tension within the fandom.

Who should Joxer wind up with? I'm not really very concerned with the love life of any of the characters - although I do recognize the existence of subtext. :-) While some would say that Meg is a good choice, I think that Lila is a better one. You see, to most of us Joxer fans, Joxer is part of the family. (and before you gag, isn't annoying nearly synonymous with family?) His winding up with Lila would tie him to Gabrielle, and to Xena. But then again, The show's romances are not what draws me to it. Joxer can wind up with Ares for all I care. :-)

I do believe that Joxer has developed since we first saw him. However, that development has been rather subtle. While the bluster remains, the arrogance seems to be gone - or at least somewhat diminished. I too would like Joxer's development speeded up.

Joxer does have some talents, which are introduced, but not really explored. Why not make Joxer more of a minstrel. I am sure Xena would love to have her exploits not only written down, but given musical accompaniment. "In the frozen lands of Nador, they were forced to eat Joxer. And there was much rejoicing." (I may be a Joxer fan, but I do have a sense of humor.

He does seem to be able to do things when he doesn't try so hard.

I do not believe that Joxer tries to separate Xena and Gabrielle, but that he tries to include himself.

I can look up to heroes like Xena, but they are out of my reach. Joxer is not out of reach. What I like about him is that he keeps on trying.

Rob Lent

Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998
Subject: lettercol, issue #27

I was browsing through the letter column in this month's issue of WHOOSH, and I couldn't help but respond to Mr. Wilson's letter of 20-11-98:

"I think the big reason why Joxer is such a controversial character is because he is exactly the kind of guy that Gabrielle will eventually go for, once Gab totally frees herself from all the gender-based identities she has."

I just wonder which of Gabrielle's "gender-based identities" are keeping our intrepid bard from finding true love with Joxer 'The Mighty': Herodotus' daughter; Lila's sister; Perdicus' wife; Hope's mother? Or is it only her role as Xena's friend, sidekick, and Amazon that Mr. Wilson objects to?

It would seem to me that without the memories and experiences that these different aspects of Gabrielle's identity have given her, there wouldn't be a lot left of the girl to love with or to be loved, for that matter.

As always, WHOOSH! never fails to provide me with something new to think about. Please keep it up.

Kate Halloran

Subject: I just read your article.
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998

I am very disappointed in the article you just wrote about Joxer. Many fans enjoy Ted Raimi playing this character. I would not eliminate the relationship that quickly. If it was up to me, I would still give it a few tries and possibly terminate it. Second of all, Joxer brings comic relief to the show. I would have him, just as his contact for this year says, in about every other episode. Lastly, if you don't like him, don't watch. He does not intrude in Xena and Gabrielle's relationship. He is friends to both of them. I just hope they develop Joxer into the hero his fans believes he is. Thank you for your time.


Going too Far?

Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998
Subject: Just curious

As some one who is both a fan of Xena and someone who studies Greco-Roman culture at the doctoral level, I am curious as to the amount of research your contributors at WHOOSH! perform. The anachronistic and often false (with regards to history, mythology, etc.) nature of the show makes for good TV, but people should always remember that it is just a TV show for this reason. I am very happy if an interest in the show sparks an interest in researching the wonderful literature, art and cultural history of the Greeks and Romans, but one should never simply find a book ("Black Athena" for example) and apply its tenets to the show. It is meant as a piece of scholarly literature and not a guideline for producers. Use the book and all other sources to understand the past, and then marvel at the differences between history and the show. I know that I would prefer a few more accurate episodes, but what the heck - so long as the show is fun. Battle on.

Craig Hardiman
Department of Art History,
The Ohio State University

Editor-in-Chief Kym Taborn Responds:

It is my opinion that of the writers of WHOOSH!, who do use the classics and works of academic research to support their ideas, are indeed doing so not because they believe XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS to be an authentic academically researched enterprise or even want the show to be one, but because said works enhance their appreciation and understanding of the show, and they wish to share it with the readers, which I find extremely generous and very noble.

I especially enjoyed the articles that have either cited Black Athena or have been influenced by it. I am of the philosophy that it is not impossible for academic findings and disciplines to have practical and entertainment values. The concepts behind Black Athena and developed thereafter do have a relevancy towards discussions about XWP. I am pleased that past contributors of WHOOSH! have shared with us their observations on such relevencies.

And Don't Forget, Indexers are Sexy, Too

Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998
Subject: Letters to the Editor: In praise of Michael Klossner

I want to praise your decision to index WHOOSH! issues and Michael Klossner's hard work. Few may realize how much work is involved in providing an index. I wanted to applaud the contributions of lesser-sung folks such as librarians.

It is amazing how many people have come together with their various talents to provide a monthly issue of WHOOSH! as well as the other aspects of the WHOOSH! site.

Virginia Carper

What's It Between Those Two, Anyways?

Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998
Subject: Letter to the Editor: After the Sunset

Last night, I was watching a scene from the old An Officer and a Gentleman movie in which two factory women show up at the Naval base looking for fresh meat, I mean, fresh recruits. A realization came to mind that these women had a lot in common with our good buddy Gabrielle. Each had unfulfilling lives that they tried to make more livable by latching on to someone more exciting and worldly. Now according to the conventional wisdom, An Officer and a Gentlemen ends happily because Richard Gere's character carries off Debra Winger's character into the sunset and they live happily ever after. Not necessarily. That's where Gabby's and Xena's kind of relationship picks up.

What happens after that long walk into the sunset? Why isn't Gabby happy? It's because she's looking outside of herself to find happiness instead of within. By happiness, I mean knowing who she is and having the will to fulfill her own needs. Still developing her own persona, she's smitten by every charismatic person she meets: Xena, Khrafstar, Najara. Yet none of these people can really give her what she wants because they don't have it to give. Not even Xena. Until Gabby can be happy with herself, that is, really know herself, the people she loves will always disappoint her.

Meanwhile I perceive Xena as a more complete person partly because she is highly goal-oriented and smart enough to achieve those goals. She can fulfill most of her own needs without having to rely on someone else. Her major flaw is that she doesn't always know which goals are appropriate to go after. People in her life have guided her toward the light and toward the darkness. People like Lao Mao, Borias, Alti, Ares, and Gabrielle. I suppose Hercules fits in the list somewhere. But she never expected any of those people to give her what she didn't already have inside. Xena shares her life with Gabrielle, who serves as her guide. I'm not convinced that she expects Gabby to complete it for her.

Back to the movie. When I first saw it long ago, my female hero wasn't Debra Winger's character; it was the little female recruit who never gave up and climbed that damned obstacle course wall. She got to the end of the movie as a newly minted officer and so full of potential. She became a person who is better than she was at the beginning. Winger's character got to the end of the movie fulfilling what she thinks is the ultimate goal: latching on to someone better than herself while changing nothing fundamental about herself. She doesn't even realize that walking into light is only the first step. And she doesn't even do the walking herself.


Squishy Credits

Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998
Subject: Squished, voice over, cut credits

Sad but true, trailing credits erratically done on USA Network, and often miss done on the ABC new shows. I will sometimes go to the 'Episode Guide' info for a few shows at a time to get the full credit and amusing ending phrase.

I was interested in seeing Lisa Chappell's first appearance on the USA reruns. I loved all the character re-representation on the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Hercules". As well as, the "Herculean Chronicle" issue #3 interviews. Hah!

Unfortunately, it's a money thing and probably won't get fixed.

Lee Blackburn

Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998
Subject: where credit is 'don't'

Super thank you! It's bugged me for years to hear announcers cut off beautiful end credit music. It has only gone from bad to a hellish hearse, driven by a network exec carrying a tacky, commercial-laden handbag. Here here to a swift and squishy end to credit squishing!

I wonder what the exact legal requirement is for giving credit in film and TV? There must be some laws or the networks would never waste 'valuable air time and space on them.


Love That Rat

Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998
Subject: Just stuff

I love being able to visit your site after I see the latest Xena and seeing what everyone thinks.

I just saw LOCKED UP TIED DOWN. Standard plot, but totally awesome. Especially the flying, saving the day rat! And, ooh, love that Hippie Gaboutfit.

Virginia V Kelly

Angry at ET On-Line

Subject: Letter to the editor
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998

Am I irritated or what?

... and no for those of you who wish to ask...I don't mean one of those quality irritations solved by a healthy dose of "Gold Bond Medicated Powder"!!!

Here's my story...

I was celebrating the completion of my last university paper by wandering aimlessly through out the Xenaverse, via several of my favourite web pages. Of course, I had to stop by Mary D's... Ya never know, The Bat *might* finish the Third Age, and besides Mary always has fun stuff.

Anyway, I popped over to the 'what's new' link and there was an ET-on-line interview/article, (what ever you want to call it about fan-fiction). I was surprised when the article reported that there are more Star Trek FF links than any other kind... only 160-some-odd. Does this *really* beat what's available in the Xenaverse? I haven't counted lately but it would surprise me as Mary D has over 120 writers, if I'm not mistaken. And the compendium that has changed names and operators several times in the past year and a half... (wait a minute that belong to someone whose name started with an X... any relation Xorys? Tell now, don't make me look back...).

Besides that slight... Xena FF wasn't even mentioned though *Buffy*, *X-files* and even the *X-men* got their 3 words.

At this point, I was irked! But then when the author went on about FF writers and the "Golden Rule" of FF being Spellcheck, spellcheck and spellcheck... don't use this device at whatever the cost... I was almost livid...

Almost... it was then that I realized that our favourite writers had been ignored, so obviously this snide little comment could not have been directed at them.

The final straw, was the comment that those would desire to be "legitimate" writers should run fast and far from FF. I have few literary talents, but I love a good book Having read Wuthering Heights, Duddy Kravitz, All's Quiet on the Western Front, I still have to say we in the Xenaverse are fortunate that we have so many truly talented writers.

I have seen the occasional story where grammar, style, structure and the general rules of the English language aren't just ignored, they are annihilated! By and large... I think we have a phenomenal assortment of individuals keeping us entertained!

D. Simmons

Alt Tag Shennanigans

Subject: Whoosh Pics
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998

Just finished the newest edition of WHOOSH! Excellent as always so make sure you hire or steal someone to pat you all on the back. I must also say that your group is very, very sneaky. I am glad that my computer is slow loading, otherwise I would miss all the cute factoids that are named for the pictures in WHOOSH! Spice girl theme for the Staff! ROFLOL!!! What a sense of humor. Keep up the roaring good work. We will be watching you...Bwhahahaaa

Starbase 101

Editor-in-Chief Kym Taborn Responds:

And we do not stop at the staff page. Since long time past, WHOOSH! has been using those alt tags for alternative humorous captions for all the graphics in the journal articles. The alt tags, which reach brilliance many times, are primarily written by Bret Rudnick and Marian Pappaceno. I have been know to jump in and write some myself, and about three months ago we had an on-line contest where people sent it their alt tags for an issue.

And We Think Squishy Credits are a Problem?

Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 09:52:34 EST
Subject: XWP viewing in France

I would like to thank all the people involved in the Xena show. It has been the idea of a genius and the concretization of many wills. The show is known (and appreciated) all over the world. I will only speak for the French-speaking countries in Europe, and mostly for myself, but I know that I am backed by many fans here and there.

Thanks to a TV Channel called TF1, countries like France, Switzerland and Belgium have been able to watch the first seasons of Xena and four seasons of Hercules. I have become a late fan of the series (I mean Xena) but I am now hooked. I have a big, big chance to have had the possibility to watch the third season in English and that's the reason why I write to you today.

I don't want to criticize the wonderful idea of the executive of TF1 to have decided to broadcast Xena at a family time (on Saturdays at 5 pm), and of course in French, but...Yes, there is a 'but'... I have concerns about three things :

1. The main title Xena : Warrior Princess has been translated into Xena la guerrire (the warrioress) which diminishes the impact and does not give the profound sense of honor of the 'new' Xena.

2. The voices really don't pay credit to the original voices of Lucy Lawless of course, and RoC, and Callisto ! All the modulations have disappeared and they are soooo important. Just for your information too, Ares' French voice is different in Xena and in Hercules !!!!

3. The translations, oh the translations. I don't know if it's to keep our little children's ears 'safe' or if the translators are really bad but many sentences are completely different and the meaning is totally changed. It doesn't make sense anymore. I know that censorship has its way but I really think that RenPic should try to have a look (or an ear) on that.

We, I mean the other French fans and I, have tried to get the name of the company in charge of the distribution of the show, or the translation company. TF1 is only a channel, they say, they have no interference with the translation, but it seems to be quite impossible.

I try this now because I really think that the job of the crew : actors, writers, and producers of the original show don't deserve this. And we are a bunch of French-speaking fans (and not only Amazons!) really, really angry. We could even boycott the next season if necessary and lock the children in front of a play station with Tomb Raider III :-)

Brigitte Jurga-Hoffman

Editor-in-Chief Kym Taborn Responds:

Unfortunately, when the show goes overseas, RenPic nor MCA/Universal, nor USA Networks have any direct control. The non-domestic USA markets are notorious for dubbing and editing any way they please. What you need to do is write to TF1 about their practices. If enough write, perhaps something will be done. You can try a writing campaign. TF1's address is:

1 Quai du Point du Jour
F-92100 Boulogne-Billancourt

Still in Recovery over the Third Season

Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998
Subject: Dec. letters

After reading some of the letters in your December issue I had to respond. I was one of the viewers who was extremely upset by some of the events in season 3 and the rift, most notably the horse-dragging scene in THE BITTER SUITE. Nevertheless I've become reconciled to the fact that the writers have their own agenda with regard to the show and I've been very happy with the way season 4 is progressing so far even though I'm holding my breath and hope there won't be any more rift-like happenings.

I was really incensed by some of the letters I saw, particularly one by Suzanne Goodman who found it necessary to criticize the 'sheep's eyes' 'trembly-chinned confessions' and 'I love yous' between the ladies. Likewise Macara, who described their current relationship as 'mushy'. I myself and most people I know happen to love these very things and they're one of the prime reasons we watch the show. I would like to see a few loose ends tied up, most notably what happened with regard to Boudiccea but I fervently hope never to lay eyes on the Lao Ma character again. I know she was popular with some people but I saw her as an unwelcome intrusion and interloper between the ladies. But if they see fit to bring her back, I'm not going to write a letter to the creators to complain about it.

As Angie Cabrera pointed out, enjoy the show for what it is, to which I will add if you don't like what you see, change the channel or turn off the screen. Very simple. Personally I'm getting very tired of people dissing the show. I still think it's head and shoulders above a lot of the vapid crapola that's being passed off as entertainment on the tube these days.

Ariadne de la Montagne
E-mail address withheld by request

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