Whoosh! Issue 73 - October 2003
Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to letters@whoosh.org. 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.

Different Aspects Of Aphrodite
On Sappho
The Thousand Faces Of Xena: Transculturality Through Multi-Identity
The Night Of The Amazing Aphrodite And The Final Finale
Inside the Head of Cathbard
Letters to the Editor
A Year Later: Struck Out
O'Connor in Macbeth
O'Connor Trivia
Uses for Whoosh!
75th Issue
Asking for Feedback

Letters To The Editor

Different Aspects Of Aphrodite

From: Cintia ffolis
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 6:43 AM

I have just finished reading the article "DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF APHRODITE". Thank you for such a great job. I really appreciate that paper. I hope Ancestrina [Benson] can continue writing articles with other different secondary characters. Thanks!

From: Kevin O'Neill
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 7:05 AM
Subject: Letter to the editor

I just finished reading the different aspects of Aphrodite. Thanks for the information, good article, good information, interesting episode guide and a well-biography of Aphrodite. Hope you can continue writing that kind of articles.

On Sappho

From: Jane Choy
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 12:02 AM
Subject: Whoosh - On Sappho article

In the second page of the aforementioned article of the latest issue, the very first image is a clip from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.


Though I don't think the guy looks like Ted Raimi, I do however, think the actress looks extremely like Lucy. I don't know who she is, just that she's definitely not Lucy. I'm not even sure if she's Melissa Joan Hart.

I would very much like to know who this person is, because I think she looks more like Lucy (I'm a Lucy fan) than even Deb Abbott does. Since you picked (or helped pick) the pictures that go with the article, I thought may be you can lend me a hand.

Author Edward Mazzeri responds:
The actress is Jenna Leigh Green.

She played played the head cheerleader Libby Chessler, Sabrina's rival in seasons 1-3.

In episode 009/109 GEEK LIKE ME, in the words of http://www.tvtome.com/SabrinatheTeenageWitch/guide.html: "Sabrina tires of Libby's constant teasing-- which worsens when Sabrina joins a science club-- so she gives the tormentor a taste of the taunting by turning her into a nerd."

The picture shows Libby under the influence of the nerd-spell (straight hair, glasses, being kind to other people, interested in non-cheerleading stuff), sitting in the school cafeteria which another unpopular nerd member of the science club at the moment he asks her: "Did you watch Xena: Warrior Princess last night?"

The nerd-spell backfires on Sabrina of course and for the rest of the episode Sabrina has to fix things.

(Libby is the one who in an another episode refered to Sabrina as "Warrior Freak" during an exchange of insults. I think Melissa likes Xena.)

The Thousand Faces Of Xena: Transculturality Through Multi-Identity

From: cr
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 5:27 AM
Subject: 1000 Faces of Xena

I'd just like to say that I found the article by Kyle Wohlmutt and Miriam Butt fascinating. Also thought-provoking. My congratulations to the authors.

The authors' passing comments on the predictability of James Bond's abilities and the pre-defined roles of all the characters in Star Trek help explain something I'd noticed but never reasoned out before - why Xena has so much more 'life' than those series. (The early Bonds - when the character was fresh - were by far the most interesting. But then of course, he was also Sean Connery. There's a charisma factor - which for example Sean Connery and Lucy Lawless have - that the authors don't seem to mention prominently, though of course that may have been peripheral to their thesis.)

They do, however, highlight TPTB's [the powers that be's] refusal to be predictable or give simplistic answers, which was a major factor in keeping the audience's interest.

Just to nit-pick like a stereotypical Xenafan (and prove I was paying attention!), there's an error in Note 31 - Borias was of course killed in Past Imperfect, not Sin Trade.

The Night Of The Amazing Aphrodite And The Final Finale

From: cr
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 4:51 AM
Subject: The final finale?

I have to take issue with Bret Rudnick's editorial in the September issue.

He [Bret Rudnick] says

"Also this month, the topic of FRIEND IN NEED rears its bashed and ugly face once again. "
Well, actually, if it does it's only because Bret just raised it.
"In New Zealand this month they aired the Xena finale for the first and probably last time."
Excuse me, but where does he get this from? FRIEND IN NEED will be aired just exactly as many times as Season 6 is. So far, we've seen earlier seasons up to about S4 at least three times, at intervals. I can't see any reason why Seasons 5 and 6 would be any different. And unlike Oxygen, I believe, when a channel here airs a season, they usually do it complete and in episode order.

In fact, quality (or just 'cult') series from the past frequently air on New Zealand channels, I would expect Xena to recur every couple of years for many years to come.

I would dearly love to know where Bret got his viewing figures from ("Kiwis had their chance to view it on TV4 and the vast majority of them passed.") I don't know how many people watched it, how does he?

Bret's feelings about FRIEND IN NEED are well known to anyone who reads Whoosh, but he should please refrain from projecting them onto everybody else.

Bret is also mistaken about the promo for the finale - in fact, there was none, as such, it was the same promo TV4 have been using for most of the season. I felt they could have made more of it, but maybe they've heard some of the whining noises coming from overseas and felt cautious.

Incidentally, I was surprised and delighted to see that the version TV4 aired was the Director's Cut - without, of course, Oxygen's onscreen graffiti, and, so far as I can tell, uncut.

Bret Rudnick responds:
The topic came up because, while I was in Auckland, some fans and several people people who worked on the show brought it up to me. Just because it doesn't happen in the USA doesn't mean it isn't news or worthy of reporting

Actually, I got my information from the source -- professional contacts at TV4. Shortly after the finale aired there were figures available regarding the viewing audience on all the stations and, as ratings go, even by New Zealand standards, it wasn't watched by too many people, certainly in comparison to other shows.

Various personnel from New Zealand television have commented to me before regarding the overall ratings for the show, viewing demographics, and so forth. It was interesting to see that the New Zealand audience had many things in common with the US audience, at least statistically, as the seasons wore on.

If in fact the promo for the finale was no different from the one being run for all of Season Six, they certainly interspersed scenes from the finale with that promo to get people interested. I saw that run several times when I was in Auckland last August.

As far as my own personal feelings about the finale are concerned, I don't "project" them onto anyone else, I simply report them as well as the feelings of those I come into contact with. I've said to many people, if you like the finale, enjoy. If you didn't, you're in plenty of company. In either case, feel free to register an opinion about it. It's a free country (and website). (:

From: Warrior Princess
Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 8:46 AM
Subject: Xena in New Zealand

My name is Ilse and a am a new fan of Xena. I live in Austria, Europe, and the show is aired now in my country (here you need a lot of time, everything is VERY slow).

I just read your article at Whoosh. You write that Xena wasn`t very successful or popular in New Zealand. That really was a suprise for me. Though it is the same in Austria. Most people even know about, which is very sad in my opinion. Does that mean Xena was only a hit in the USA? What do you think? How could it be that different? Is at least Lucy Lawless well known in New Zealand? I do hope so. Could you let me know about the popularity of Xena in your country and in Australia?

I would be very happy if you could write back! And I am sorry for all my mistakes in your language, but writing isn`t that easy ... I am a better talker in English. But I hope it is at least understandable.

Greetings from Austria to beautiful New Zealand.

Bret Rudnick responds:

Your English is far better than my German, so no worries there.

I don't live in New Zealand full time, but I do spend a lot of time there, and in fact am seeking to relocate there permanently. I have a few friends there who worked on the show and know several others who used to watch the show from time to time while it was in production.

XENA never really took off in NZ in the same proportions that it did in the States, though a lot of people knew about it and it was a "big fish" in the entertainment production pond at the time. New Zealand as a nation has about 4 million people (and about 40 million sheep) and at its height in the States XENA had an audience that exceeded the entire population of New Zealand and then some. But given the total potential audience in the USA and the fact people in the States watch a lot more television than people in NZ, it's not a huge surprise. New Zealand, like all other countries, has to buy the rights to broadcast the shows on a given station, and as a small country with a corresponding economy, they tend to "sample" shows more than regularly purchase and show them. There are exceptions, such as THE SIMPSONS, which remains perenially popular in NZ, but as a rule people tend to "sample" shows and stations will air a few episodes of a show, drop it, and move on to another one unless there is an overwhelming response to it that makes it commercially viable.

XENA has been on-again, off-again in NZ but as far as I know, most eps have been shown at least once. As for Australia, I have no idea, I've never been there and don't know anyone who lives there well enough to get a sense for it. There are fans in NZ and Australia who are devoted to the show and host get-togethers from time to time, but not on the scale one sees in the States, mainly due to the sheer numbers involved. Like most cult/genre shows, it has a very dedicated core following.

At one time, XENA was one of the most watched shows in the world, and found references in a number of other shows and pop culture outlets, so from that standpoint, it was pretty popular once upon a time. No doubt one will be able to see it somewhere in the world for quite some time to come.

Inside the Head of Cathbard

From: Susan Solomon
Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:18 PM

I've always enjoyed [the] "Inside the Head of..." series but finally here is someone I actually know personally- CathBard. And she is just as nice and intelligent in person as she sounds in your article. Thanks.

Letters to the Editor

From: M Juingong
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 10:21 PM
Subject: September Letters and Articles

Some points in letters and articles in 9/02 issue:

I do not challenge ROC's talents and skills. But I disagree with Cathy Duzynski's contention that ROC could act LL off the screen. Noone who saw LL throughout the series could say that.

Aphrodite: 1. Note in H:TLJ's ep THE POWER, that Dite is claimed to be the (absent) mother of the lad with the power to make others obey him. That should have been noted in the article of the two Dites.

2. Actually, Hera is mother of Hephaestus without Zeus(she seems to have reacted to Zeus having Athena spring from his head by doing something of same nature w/Hephaestus) so Hephaestus is sibling only to the gods who have Hera as mother.

From: Dafydd Galahad
Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 7:39 AM
Subject: letters to Editor - TPTB bashing


Our euphoria that G. Going dared to speak our heart has roused loyalists to defend the 'master vision'.

Cr finds "it hard to credit how anyone can be so vindictive and malicious to people they have never met." TPTB started being malicious to us fans when they took our beautiful show and comprehensively trashed it. Then they trashed Strangers in Paradise, Robin Hood, Buffy and Stargate in quick succession.

Going has never met Studios USA, so what? I've never met Ossama bin Laden, but I still criticize him. Cr has never met Going, so by his/her/its own rule, cr has no right to criticize Going.

Cr mentions the "evil Tapert school of thought that ended up just a little too realistic." Exactly so.

Oscar Wilde, the Importance of being Ernest: "the good end happily, the bad end happily, that is the meaning of fiction."

Here's us peasants, oppressed by the corporations, government and church. We need our little holidays in Fantasyland where Love blossoms and the good guys win. When we want to see the bad guys win we watch the news. Studios USA privatised RenPics to make the program realistic, seasons 4-6 the bad guys always win: Ares, Callisto, Eli, Dahak, Caesar.

Conflated with the realism of misery and guilt, the SFX and 'plotlines' became more and more an insult to our intelligence. Classic Xena jumping 10 feet is exciting because it is almost believable: Elijan Xena jumping 100 feet is boring and embarrassing. Classic XG dying once per season made fine tear-jerking tragedy: Kenny in South Park dying each week is fine comedy: Elijan XG dying and resurrecting every week is meaningless and futile. One of the gang gets arrested, while Xena is let free to rescue them. Last five minutes, Xena suddenly gets magic powers.

Cr can't be bothered to list the "distortions and absurdities" in the articles, maybe because they can't find any.

Fiona Morton praises FIN, but often in terms of the virtues of Classic XWP. She exalts in the Subtext, that XG's love is so special, "You can't be a soulmate with just anyone." "XG loved each other and would die for each other." But that is Classic Xena. Elijan Xena continually dumps Gab-in-Hell to go off with her latest soulmate or one of her innumerable past soulmates, each of them infinitely more important in her life than Gab could ever hope to be, each of them much to important to ever be mentioned to Gab: Lao Ma, Tara, Ralph. Malthus, Callisto, LaoMa's evil daughter, Ares, Antony, Brunhilde, Ares. Xena won't die for Gab, she dies for her latest soulmate, Akemi and the 40,000 convenient soulmates.

Fiona complains "All these TV programmes tell people what to think." Then in the very next paragraph, she says it is a good thing that "these days television tells us everything." She never explains the difference, when it is a good thing and when bad. So, I am guessing she means that when Classic XWP was about Love, Justice and Peace, that was the bad doctrine to preach. When Elijan XWP was a 35-minute sermon of homophobia and religious bigotry, followed by Xena getting magic power in finale, that was the good doctrine.

Fiona says "once someone is dead, they won't come back." That is when Death is drama, when it matters, when it makes a difference. XG's weekly death and resurrection trivialized Death coupled with TPTB's policy of killing regular characters using reported speech or convenient flashbacks. Ephiny, Amarice, Salmoneus, XG's parents - we are always merely TOLD about them; lest the drama of REAL death might highlight the emptiness of "Omigod, they killed Xenny!"

FIN begins, Gab says "We can't spend our lives wandering around Greece looking for trouble." It end with Xena telling her to look for trouble in Egypt instead. This is so much better and makes a perfect resolution because???

Xena had to die because TPTB wanted to make the world's first 42-hour Lesbian snuff movie. 1950s Hollywood churned out 90-minute snuff-movies. Nazi Germany's snuff-movie lasted 3 hours. Joss Whedon dragged Buffy season 6 through 14 guilt-ridden hours. But only Studios USA managed to punish the sinful abominations for 42 hours. Glory Hallelujah. The World needs this like a hole in the ozone layer. Hey wait, it's already got one.

EA Week's article on Hair, "Gabrielle's hair is very much part of her identity." Her hair indicated her character, her innocence, joy, intelligence, courage etc. But he omits any reference to the peroxide psychopath, the Aryan skinhead, the useless tagalong. Gabrielle is like Samson, her power is in her hair. When Eli shaved her pubes, she lost everything. Shaughnessy himself has demonstrated that without Gabrielle, the programme was crap.

Likewise all of Eli's converts are Aryan skinheads: Callisto, Michael, Ares, even Hercules.

In season 6, TPTB kept dangling the carrot of Gab's redemption and then snatching it away. She is redeemed in RHEINGOLD, she can smile again, yee haugh! Next week, OLD ARES HAD A TRAILER PARK, Gab-in-Hell reverts to evil without any explanation or acknowledgement.

There were occasions in season 6 where Renee actually smiled just like Classic Gabrielle - wowzowowza! And I noticed a slight redness remaining in her scalp. Old theory: Renee looked so totally brain-dead throughout season 5 from listening to Eli's sermons. New theory: season 5 used up the entire world's supply of industrial strength peroxide. In season 6, TPTB had to use ordinary household peroxide which isn't so fumey.

Of course, maybe Week omits Eli because he never happened. Seasons 4-6 are clearly inauthentic, deliberately composed to blacken Xena's name. Between the lines begins with a quote about karma from "the Xena Blue Scrolls - author unknown." THE PLAY'S THE THING asserts that Gab-in-Hell sacrificed her story writing on the altar of Eli.

CALLISTO, THE FIRESIDE CHAT: Cyrrha was the only, repeat ONLY time Xena made war on women and children. Only in the sense of one and only, as in unique. Therefore all the episodes where Xena dumps Gab to atone for some ancient wrong never happened. OAAA Gabrielle says "Xena, when we were in China. I never meant to hurt you." So FORGET ME NOT never happened. XENA SCROLLS, Xena says to Covington "You listen to me. Gabrielle was never useless." So Eli never happened.

Dafydd ap Thomas

A Year Later: Struck Out

From: Doc Marten
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 8:50 PM
Subject: A Year Later: Struck Out

As a casual Xena fan who is more into the fan fiction than the show itself, I can definatly appreciate Mr. Going's accurate portrayal of the obnoxious behavior of Rob Tapert and company in "A Year Later: Struck Out". I can also say I know many XWP fans who feel exactly the same way he does over the mysogonistic and homophobic ending of the show. Tapert is not getting ANY of my money, not that he ever did anyway. Also, kudos to Whoosh! for having the courage to publish both Mr. Going's essay and Valerie Foster's letter. They are far more courageous and intelligent than CR's insipid prattling on supposedly "rebutting" it. Mr. Going and Ms. Foster speak for far more Xena fans than CR ever will.

O'Connor in Macbeth

From: MiL
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 8:22 AM
Subject: Renee's Mid-Summer Night's Nightmare

I admit I didn't get the chance to see Renee perform in Shakespeare By The Sea.

However, I grew more and more disturbed and appalled by the behaviour that some Xena fans exhibited during the course of her run, with the worst of it being at the final performance.

From what I've read from various reports and eye witness accounts, some fans were obnoxious, inappropriate, blatently disregarded the rules like picture-taking during the performances, went back for autographs and pics several times, not just on the same night but for performance after performance after performance. Some of these inconsiderate fans hogged Renee's time, bothered her when she was "busy", repeatedly referred to her as "Gabrielle", and gave "attitude" to the staff for doing their free, non-paying, volunteer jobs. And although I think Renee was cordial and gracious despite the wankers (kudos to her!), the pics coming back from LA clearly showed Renee posing like a trained marionette, and not at all happy standing next to these overly-enthusiastic fans. I saw only two or three pics where she actually manage to smile. Too bad the fans didn't seem to notice, nor did they seem to care. They only wanted to stand near the "goddess" and hoped that she remembered their "uniqueness" amongst a sea of non-descript faces.

This situation snowballed into utter chaos at the final performance (where these Xena fans clapped after **every** scene) and they **still** took pictures after Renee asked them not to. Renee was forced to make this announcement herself because at her previous performances, nobody seemed to be listening to the regular theatre people, for whom, I'm sure, this is one summer they'll never forget for all the wrong reasons. The overcrowding at the "meet and greet", where some fans rudely left in the middle of the performance to get at the front of the line, and several others pushed forward so that Renee was this lone tiny figure of celebrity trapped in a darkened park surrounded by scary fans, would be enough to spook anyone. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Renee was more than a little embarrassed (and I bet frightened) by the fans "nightmarish" attention. I sure would be. If I was her (and of course, I'm not ), and I wanted to do something like that again, the _last_ people on Earth I'd tell would be Xena fans. And once they found out and showed up in droves, I'd quit!!

I'm not saying that everyone who went behaved in the manner I described above, I'm sure the vast majority who attended, were there merely to appreciate and enjoy Renee's acting in a cozy setting. But for the few who did, they ruined the whole "meet and greet" exercise and cast a pall over the whole experience.

more than a little peeved

O'Connor Trivia

From: Jane Robinson
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2002 2:29 PM
Subject: Renée O'Connor's Screen Credits

I always wonder why no one notes Renée's appearances on a television show from the 70's which portrayed reenactments of FBI cases. She was on at least 2 and possible 3 episodes. Thanks.

Kym Taborn responds
There are many websites that list the FBI epsiodes. Some include:

Deianeira's Lost Kingdom - A Visual Tribute to Renee O'Connor
Renee O'Connor
SimplyROC - A site for Renee O'Connor
SimplyROC - A site for Renee O'Connor
Renee O'Connor
Filmografia - Renee O'Connor
Amphipolis Cafe - Cast Biographies - Renee' O'Connor
Biografía de Reneé O'Connor - Xena en español
Renee O'Connor - Biography&Filmography
Renee O'Connor Page
Nice Actresses!
Alt.Tv.Xena FAQ, (Part 3/5): About the actors
Alt.Fan.Renee-OConnor Newsgroup FAQ (Part 1 of 1)

Uses for Whoosh!

From: Kamouraskan
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 9:43 AM
Subject: Notice

Last month my partner Lariel and I were able to travel to Macedonia where we visited, amongst other places, Potadaia. Before we left on our trip, we were sent the addy for HISTORIC AMPHIPOLIS AND POTIDAEA By Paul Dickson, and it made a considerable difference to our traveling and our understanding of the area. I just wanted to say thanks to the author for writing the article, and to Whoosh for giving him a place to post it.

Thanks again for maintaining your archives. After all, we may need it for the trip to Amphipolis.


From: Dianne
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 6:06 AM
Subject: great site

I have really enjoyed looking at the XWP episode guide. Season 6 just finished its run here a few weeks ago and unfortunately, due to it being screened at 12.45am, I missed two of the eps. So it was good to be able to read up on them anyway....though one was 'Old Ares had a Farm' and I am *so* disappointed at not seeing that! Anyway, thanks again.

75th Issue

From: John Smart
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2002 1:24 PM
Subject: issue 75

Issue #75 my what a superior idea.:} I just can't wait to view on it. What a releif!

Asking for Feedback

From: David Richards
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 3:06 PM
Subject: Stories with strong women leads

A while ago in June I sent you an email about carrying on the fight after XWP had ceased transmission. If you remember I was an old Dr Who fan who shared many feelings as yourselves. You published the letter in the July edition of Whoosh. I mentioned at the time that I write stories featuring women in strong and leading roles, and that I publish them on my website. I also mentioned that I was writing a new one.

If you have some time to pass, take a look at the first twenty chapters of The Friendly Ambassador at http://www7.brinkster.com/dgr/fripage2.html.

I welcome feedback but don't often get any. Views from you and other Xena fans would be appreciated. When I finish more chapters I will let you know.

David Richards

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