Whoosh! Issue Eight - May 1997

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 Joxer/Perdicus Issue By Popular Demand!

From: Beth Cavert (BCavert@aol.com)
Date: 1 Apr 1997

I've only just read the titles and I'm wetting my pants! There's a market for Xena friendly Depends out there! GREAT job!!!! You have a wicked humor, I like that in a person!

From: Patti Casciano (OMXena@aol.com)
Date: 1 Apr 1997
Subject: Oh!! The Horror!!!

I clicked on the new WHOOSH! Page and what do I see? The "By Popular Demand" all Joxer/Perdicus ISSUE!!!???!!!!

I was almost too afraid to click onward...but thank the gods that I did.

From: Victoria Kane (Victoria_Kane@voyager.umeres.maine.edu)
Date: 1 Apr 1997
Subject: April Fool's Whoosh

Hey, what can I say but your April Fool's WHOOSH! "All Joxer/Perdicus issue" fooled me! Just as my emotional equilibrium started hitting the floor, I pushed the letters to the editor selection to see what you had to say and the screen changed to the real WHOOSH. What a relief and boy did I laugh, tears came to my eye.

This is the second time I have been April fooled on the net. The first time happened this morning when I read a post on the Xena, MCA NetForum. It read "Lucy Lawless is pregnant" and it went on to say her role would be limited and it would create an opportunity to change the format.

Glad that overall I am in good health. Good one Ms. Editor :-))) ...Whoosh subscriber who is happy with the real Whoosh 7th edition.

From: Ripley106@aol.com
Date: 1 Apr 1997
Subject: letter to the editor

Well, you got us good on this one.

I am a relatively new Xenite and just finished reading all the back issues of your wonderful publication. I couldn't wait until April 1 to see just what topics would be covered and what new and glorious insights I would glean from the many talented writers. Well, imagine my furkin' surprise and dismay when I saw the list of topics. I could not believe an entire WHOOSH issue could be devoted to those two dolts Perdicus & Joxer. Well, imagine my everlasting relief and happiness when I realized it was all a funny, funny hoax. Thanks for giving me a BIG chuckle!

It was another great issue. Thanks for putting together such a nice package.

From: Chris Wiatt (cwiatt@indiana.edu)
Date: 3 Apr 1997
Subject: WHOOSH #7 and April Fool's joke

Well, I will admit I fell for your April Fool Table of Contents hook, line and sinker. In fact, I was toying with deleting it when it came. I even tried to read some of the articles, but when I couldn't get in, I just figured I was trying to get in while you were updating. So, all I can say is: Good One. I really thought the articles looked authentic. I did wonder how I missed a call to do some of those articles, but then just racked it up to 'being too busy'!

From: Judith K. Parker (jkp@mail.bright.net)
Date: 3 Apr 1997
Subject: April Fool's Day Issue


You are evil, really evil! By any chance, did a warlord burn your village when you were a young child and thus set you on a path of wickedness?

From: Sojourner (grace@zaicomm.com)
Date: 03 Apr 1997
Subject: J/P Whoosh Issue

Hi Kym!!

Applause and kudos!! for your April Fools' WHOOSH edition with Joxer and Perdicus. I must say that you had me going for a second. Even after I started reading the article titles, it took me a while to recover -- especially since I was rolling on the floor in convulsive laughter. Where do you and your staff come up with these hilarious ideas? I mean the take-off on past WHOOSH articles (e.g. "The Battle of Corinth"), on the gay subtext, on various e-mail addresses (e.g. centaur.com for Tyldus), on the whole Joxer and now Perdicus phenomena was brilliant! Part of me wanted to say forget the real issue articles -- even my own on XenaGab -- I really do want to read about Perdicus and Donny O.!!!

Thank you and your staff for continuing to make WHOOSH a great internet magazine to read and for reaffirming to me that being a lover of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS is indeed one of most entertaining experiences of my life.

Web Coordinator's Note: If you have no idea what these people are talking about, or if you do know what they are talking about but would like to relive the glory of the Whoosh! April Fool's Cover, take a look at the fake cover archive.

Tom Simpson, a Very Special Photograph, and Chakrams

From: Chris Clogston (cclogsto@amgen.com)
Date: 1 Apr 1997
Subject: Whoosh 7

Hi Kym,

Loved the issue. The fake title page and the credits were a great April Fool's Day gift to all of us. Thanks to Tom Simpson for using Adobe Photoshop to make it appear that I have an interesting life. Actually, it is that photo of Lucy Lawless, myself, and the chakram that appears to have an interesting life. With the original publication of the picture in WHOOSH! #05, the credits pictures in issue #06, and now this usage, I think Tom has edited this photo nearly as much as the one of himself on his web page....

...How chakrams are crafted for X:WP.

A note on the chakram construction -- I now have information from Pacific Renaissance on how these are to be made, and the instructions, if followed exactly, produce a different-looking chakram than the "picture chakram" I got at the auction.

I was amazed to find out that the gold paint is autobody paint, and the shells are really New Zealand paua's. The good side is glued face-down. They only use the 'ugly' side of the shells. The metal is highly polished cast aluminum and I've been warned not to throw it or risk seriously damaging an edge.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Chris Clogston is the lucky Xenite who won the auction for the infamous production chakram at the January 1997 Burbank Xena Convention. She refers to the picture she appeared in with Lucy Lawless and the chakram after the auction.]

A Challenge Met! Emma Peel: Percurser to XENA?

Date: 04 Apr 1997
From: Twisted Sisters (poorldl@earthlink.net)
Subject: Re: WHOOSH #07 04/97 Part 1 of 9

[EDITOR'S NOTE:In the editorial of WHOOSH #07, Kym Taborn wrote: "Try to think of a woman character who is NOT defined that way (defined through her relationship with a man, her family, or her job). I can only come up with two: Xena and Gabrielle."]

The first strong woman on TV (that I can remember) was Emma Peel of THE AVENGERS. Dressed in black leather she kicked b**t during the '60's and redefined the woman's role in adventure series.

Ru Emerson even mentions her in one of her dedications at the beginning of her XENA novel "The Huntress and the Sphinx".

Battle on Emma!


Ah, but Emma Peel was defined through her career -- her job as a spy. That is why she was able to get away with what she was doing. The great thing about Xena and Gabrielle is that for all practical purposes they have no jobs to define them. They are just wandering around living off the land. They have no family or significant others to worry about.

But I agree with you one hundred percent that Emma Peel rules. She was the BEST female character before Xena and Gabrielle. Easily! And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, she wore leather extremely well.

The Redshirt Phenomena

From: John Calhoun (jcalhoun@ccnet.com)
Date: 23 Apr 1997
Subject: Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I read with great interest Tricia Murphy's article on the mortality rate of significant others [WHOOSH #07, "XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and The Mortality Rate of Significant Others" IAXS Project #145, by Tricia Murphy (panthera@ix.netcom.com)]. This subject, which has puzzled humankind since the beginning of the Xenaverse, deserves the most thorough and scholarly attention. In the spirit of academic comradeship I should like to offer a few observations on Ms. Murphy's study.

1. The scene described at the beginning of the article is highly unlikely. These guys are looking for "one night of love"? The chances that such lounge lizards would be material for a lasting and meaningful relationship are somewhere between infinitesimal and non-existent. Therefore, they are in no appreciable danger from the Xena-Gabrielle Significant Other Syndrome.

2. Maphias is considered missing; he should be listed as dead. Anyone who was once engaged to Xena would move Elysium and earth to find her again, so he would have shown up by now if he were still alive.

3. Darius is classed as a significant other; he should not be. Ms. Murphy thinks that "...Xena would have offed him eventually," and points up Xena's interest in the kids. It seems far more likely that Xena was in love, not with Darius, but with the idea of a home and family, and the kind of life she might have lead had she remained a simple villager.

4. If we accept these two changes in status, we find an interesting anomaly: the only surviving significant other, Hercules, crossed paths with Xena before she turned away from evil. At first glance, some might suppose that this indicates that "bad girls" are safer than "good girls", and that could explain the interest in Callisto. The problem with this, as Theodorus' ghost could tell you, is that Callisto ain't all that safe. So things are not quite that simple.

5. The surviving significant other had a relationship with a woman who, though she had chosen an evil path, still held a code of conduct containing some honor; a person who would eventually turn away from evil. Callisto, by comparison, is a true villain. She seems to have very little (if any) honor, and her code of conduct is "win any way you can". It appears unlikely that she will change her ways.

So where does this lead our investigation? It is obviously not safe to be the significant other of a true heroine, and it is just as dangerous with a true villain. The inevitable conclusion is that the only safe significant other is the Bad Girl with a Heart of Gold. (What a cliche! Who writes this stuff, anyhow?)

From: Jennifer Y. E. Gogarten (gogarten@carrot.mcb.uconn.edu)
Date: April 23, 1997
Subject: Mortality Rate- the Kiss of Death, etc.

I liked your WHOOSH! article on the odd tendency of expiration in the significant others.

My twist on the theory is "they die, unless they have some function in a show/history to fulfill because they are characters in their own right, (or they are immortal)". This explains Iolaus, Hercules, Homer (he's a historical figure, he can't die YET, maybe he'll be back someday, and is BTW a certified love interest in Xena book #2), Hippocrates/his Gabfatuated friend, and a few others. Like Joxer, remember Gabby got kissed by the sorta-Joxer. (Yes, his role on the show IS clear to me and he does have one )

But I found your analysis very insightful and interesting, and loved the beginning scenario you wrote. I too have always thought that Callisto was being considerate when she killed Theodorus, at least he knew what he was getting himself into all along! Yet Xena and Gabby continually lure in unsuspecting men... when will this madness stop?

My solution to all of this is...both find a lover on their OWN show (you can only rewrite history sooo much while staying within some rather smudgy and as of yet rather undefined limits, and Hercules is it's own distinct and very different show). This leaves basically Joxer and Callisto and Salmoneous as options, since they are the few recurring characters. Callisto, well, she's a bit too dysfunctional (disFUNctional??) and Joxer is, well, Joxer (and frankly, as Gabby said "you're not her type"). Salmoneous seems to be mainly on Hercules now. Conclusion -- by process of elimination, Xena and Gabby MUST end up together, because they're the ONLY good love matches that wouldn't expire suddenly.

Though, come to think of it, another funeral sequence could be nice -- not only is funeral an anagram for "real fun", but we could have Xena sing, Joxer provide backup vocals and lyre strumming (now that we've uncovered a few more of his skills) and Gabby on a panpipe solo. It could work.

Xena Compared to Civil War Generals

From: Lynn M. Sicade (lsicade@ix.netcom.com)
Date: 02 Mar 1997
Subject: letter to the editor


First off Congratulations on the continuing top-notch quality of WHOOSH and IAXS. Y'all are doing a fabulous job. Do you encourage letters that comment on the articles -- criticism, so long as it's constructive (i.e. not just trashing an article)? If so, here is one -- if not, well it was fun to think about. You might consider adding a feature from time-to-time and maybe call it the Xena Debate -- you could have two writers present alternate POV's on an episode and what motivated Xena or Gab or whomever in that particular case, sort of like an op-ed page. Xenites love a good debate!

RE: Xena's Effectiveness as a Commander [WHOOSH #06 "How Effective Was Xena as a Commander?" IAXS Project #095, by Virginia Carper (carperv@FRB.GOV)] -- Carper did a an intriguing comparison of Xena to Civil War generals and the points on leadership were well drawn. However Carper seemed to shrink from calling Xena ruthless, though plenty of evidence of that element of her success as a military leader was presented. An effective military commander necessarily has an element of ruthlessness -- she has to in order to win the day. Staying with the Civil War one could point to Sherman who cut a bloody swath through the south on his march to the sea. He was merciless. But he destroyed Confederate capacity to resist. This is a frequent theme -- especially in modern warfare (think Dresden firebombings which were designed both to punish the Germans and destroy their morale). The article seems to focus on the "positive" aspects of effective command while lightly touching the "negative" aspects (war means killing, but....). It may be that Xena's dark reflection in DREAMWORKER [#03] was right when she commented that Xena's ability to command came from her.

Thanks again for the great work ya'll do.


Thank you, Lynn Sicade, for your point concerning ruthlessness and leadership. I grappled with that point -- do you need to be ruthless to be a good leader? I do know that ruthlessness in itself can be a factor for poor leadership. It condones anarchy and mistrust since everyone is trying to be the 'top dog' by murder and mayhem.

You are right that something more than civility is needed for a good leader. I do not regard Gabrielle as a leader -- she cannot order the deaths of anyone she knows. Hancock (U.S.), who did at Gettysburg, was not considered ruthless in his long military career. But, he understood that you have to do what is necessary to achieve your goal. Chamberlain (U.S..), who was a noted Christian educator before he enlisted, felt that the goal of ending slavery was so important that killing was necessary. I don't know what that quality of leadership is called. I do know that Xena has it, and Gabrielle does not.


Thank you for your suggestion for a "Point, Counter-Point" series for WHOOSH. We will consider it.

Xena: Getting A Little Genetic Help?

From: Anne Vespry (maverick@vex.net)
Subject: Whoosh Article: Xena: Demigod?
Date: 07 Feb 1997 22:28:19 -0800

Interesting idea [WHOOSH #07, "Xena: A Demigod?" IAXS Project #053, by Bret Rudnick (brudnick@cfa.harvard.edu)]. Just wondering whether you had any follow up planned as a result of the DESTINY/THE QUEST episodes? Seems like there's lots of material for your thesis there. The death and resurrection thing is a common god theme. I also wonder about why anyone else eating ambrosia becomes a god while Xena appeared unchanged. Could be because she was dead (deader than Velasca?) when it was fed to her -- or could be that she was already godlike.


Hi, Anne, thanks for noticing the article.

Re: A follow up article to cover DESTINY and THE QUEST.

I do not plan to do one. I'll leave that for someone else to comment on. I've found my head just starts hurting too much if I try to analyse things too long or too much. (:

Re: Ambrosia

Excellent questions -- was there some intended logic to the ambrosia's effects I wonder, or could it simply be attributed to YAXI (Yet Another Xena Inconsistency)?

From: Tammy Dasti (t.dasti@hwcn.org)
Date: 19 Apr 1997

Dear Mr. Rudnick:

I just finished reading your article and I loved it. About your idea that all semi-mortal children of the gods look the same: This indeed is possible, but Aphrodite and Hercules are related also, and I don't see much resemblance there. But, I like the idea. I think that this could be born out by getting to know Xena's son and seeing what he is capable of doing. I think you just might be on to something here.

Date: 24 Apr 1997
From: Bill Maxwell (bmaxwell@ComCAT.COM)
Subject: Xena as demigod


I just read your essay on Xena as a 'demigod' on the WHOOSH page. You're the first person to put into words what I've suspected since I started watching the show (about mid-February this year). I have to agree that if Xena isn't a demigod, she's darn close. In one-on-one combat, she's virtually unbeatable, but that could be a result of extensive experience and training. But the high-flying acrobatics, the incredible leaping ability (even Michael Jordan must envy her), the skill with the seemingly magical chakram -- there's no way a mere mortal could do it. I have to believe that, somewhere along the line, she's been touched by the gods. Perhaps we will eventually find out!

CHINA BEACH Remembered

From: Anita Louise Silva (LoisAnne@concentric.net)
Date: 30 Mar 1997
Subject: IAXS: Research Project

Hi Kym,

I wanted to tell you that I recently read the article regarding CHINA BEACH and XENA [WHOOSH #06: "Four Great Characters in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and CHINA BEACH", IAXS Project #016, by Rita Schnepp, schnepp@pepperdine.edu). I thought she did an excellent job in the comparison of the two.

I was beginning to think it was only the fan club members that still thought about CHINA BEACH. It was an excellent, insightful and moving series. The actors, and the production team were fantastic and like the XENA group, they all got along like family. They shot the series on the set at Warner's and at a local area not far from Los Angeles called Indian Dunes, where they had the whole set built...I could go on forever about this wonderful series and still hope at some time a network will either pick it up or rerun this series. The only thing I would have expounded on was the relationship between Laurette and McMurphy and the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle.

[EDITOR NOTE: Ms. Silva wrote an article in this month's WHOOSH, called "Trial and Triumph of a Fan Club", where she describes how the Official CHINA BEACH fan club became an International XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS fan club.]

NYC XenaFest and Joxer Remembered

Date: 21 Apr 1997
From: Jennifer Y. E. Gogarten (gogarten@carrot.mcb.uconn.edu)


I'm listed as an anonymous Xena (the non-winning Xena), but I have no problem with my name being there [WHOOSH #07, "New York City Xenafest, Reminiscence" Special to WHOOSH, by Bret Rudnick (brudnick@ivanova.harvard.edu)]. Anyway, I liked your overview of the XenaFest, I had buckets of fun, as did all the people I knew who went.

As for the Joxer pinata, half of it's in my room (as a definitely original Joxer/Xenabilia item) and I can attest to the fact that it is coated in several layers of epoxy glue. The other half belongs to the Gabrielle (I was expecting a horde of crop-top wearing Amazonian women with Dixie cups clad in their Gabby outfits in honor of Clan McGab, but I was wrong -- my friend isn't even particularly fanatical in her liking of Gabby, or any more than her love for other parts of the show), who has it on display in HER domicile (though we did get some odd glances on the train ride back as we were hauling dismembered pieces of a Joxer pinata too big to fit into our bags). She's actually the one who made my Joxer hat the pinata wound up sporting. Anyway, I loved the article, with nice pictures.

Request of WHOOSH regarding Windows 95 Applications

From: Jason (sll1s@cc.usu.edu)
Date: 29 Mar 1997
Subject: Letters to the Editor

I have a suggestion that someone could use as a submission. I don't know if there is one out there, but it would be cool to have a Xena theme for Windows 95, or even a Callisto one (man I love her)!! This theme could be offered through WHOOSH. If a theme is too much, maybe just a nice wallpaper. I haven't found any good ones yet. Just a suggestion!!


Thank you for your suggestion. At this time, however, WHOOSH is concentrating on being the best darn Xena webzine on-line, and any thoughts of merchandising or product endorsement are a ways into the future if there at all. For your information, there are Windows 95 Xena-related themes and graphics suitable for wallpapering to be found on the world wide web. A good starting off point is at Tom's Xena Page (http://xenafan.com).

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