Whoosh! Issue 30 - March 1999

Letters To The Editor





CHAKRAM ORIGINS

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999

I thought this bit of info would be interesting to you.

I'm from India, and I know most of the Indian myths and very well because of a childhood spent reading books and listening to stories. From the beginning, no one really knew where the Chakram came from in XWP.

It's origins are in Indian myth, where the god Vishnu uses it's magical incarnation to subdue and punish his enemies. Of course, he does this only if someone is getting hurt because of some injustice, because Hinduism generally preaches non-violence. Vishnu uses the Chakram (which spins magically around his upright finger in readiness to obey its master) to decapitate his enemies or those who bring suffering on others.

XWP's premise for using the Chakram was obviously taken from this myth, sometimes I wish Rob T. would acknowledge it and thus give some measure of exposure to the vast, interesting world of Indian myth that has provided so much inspiration for so many things in the world, Xena's weapon included. It's not an original idea of the writers as so many people have thought, and that's nothing to be embarrassed to admit.

I hope the upcoming episodes in India will show and celebrate the writers' inspiration for some elements in the show, and I certainly hope that they don't misconstrue India or its legends and ideals too much or portray India and its mythical past in a bad light, as it is just as rich and entertaining as the ancient Celtic world, Greek or Roman civilizations.

Anyway, thought you'd might like to post that bit of info on your great site to let everyone know some of the inspiration that TPTB have came from India and its very interesting legends and history.

Shivesh Rob Kumar
shivesh@ucla.edu


XENA AT TROY

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999
Subject: Xena at Troy

In several articles in Whoosh the authors were wondering, why Xena as a Greek was fighting with the Trojans. This is easy to answer, if you use the "flexible timeline approach". You just have to accept, that each episode takes place at it's own time, which may add up to different points in "our" history. So while for example ONE AGAINST AN ARMY takes place during the Persian-Greek wars, BEWARE OF GREEKS BEARING GIFTS happens much earlier (compared to our timeline).

You have got to remember, that Xena is from Thrace, which at the time of the Trojan war was not a part of Greece. On the contrary, Homer states in the Iliad, that the Thracians came to the defense of Troy (At the same time as the Amazons, btw.!). So in this context it is absolutely correct, to let Xena help Helen. The only drawback of the "flexible timeline approach" is, that it can't explain episodes like IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (with Galen and Hippocrates together) or THE DELIVERER (Caesar and Boudiccea).

Whoosh-team! Keep up the great work!

Kurna
MartAsbach@aol.com


THE JOXER CORNER

Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999

I have been meaning to write this letter for a long time and only recently did I have the courage. As an avid Joxer fan, I feel it necessary to bring up the fact that not only is Joxer abused and neglected in the majority of the Xenaverse, but it has come to the point where even his fans are harassed and called names. I felt it my duty to explain why I am a Joxer fan in the first place, and dispel some of the common myths.

First of all I, and none of my fellow J-fans that I know of, are homophobic, nor do I consider Joxer a threat to Xena and Gabrielle's "relationship." Just because I don't get upset that our heroines are not saying "I love you" constantly does not make me a homophobe, nor does the fact that I see their very loving partnership as a bond of deep friendship. As the old saying goes, everybody needs a best friend, and Xena is fortunate enough to have both Gabriellle and Joxer. Let's face it: if Xena saw nothing in Joxer, she'd have chased him away long ago. Many others have expressed a desire to travel with Xena (for example, Melas from "Callisto" and Tara from "Forgiven") but she has turned them down. Obviously she sees Joxer's potential.

Now to the meat of my argument. When I first saw Joxer, I saw myself as a teenager, and to me the character seems to be somewhere in his early to mid-twenties. He represents not stupidity, not foolishness, not sexism, but rather potential, a lost soul with no real role models growing up, and someone who merely wants to be loved. In high school I was much like Joxer; I constantly tried my best, no matter how mediocre or foolish others considered me to be. I kept a smile on my face even when my heart was breaking. I never was student council president, homecoming queen, or captain of the basketball team. I was a lowly recorder, a homecoming planning chairperson, and a second-stringer on the basketball team, yet I never gave up. This is what I see in Joxer: someone who may not have all the skill, but whose heart is in the right place no matter what. As Henry Ford once said, "Only he who achieves the ridiculous can achieve the impossible."

As for those who accuse the Mighty One of being irrelevant and even one-dimensional, I for one consider him to be the most multifaceted male character in the Xenaverse. Most of the others are merely "caricatures," for example, Autolycus is the greedy, arrogant ladies' man, Ares the dark tempter, Salmoneus the fast-talking con man, etc. Joxer, however, has shown many faces in the past three seasons. Anyone who didn't at least feel for him at the end of "A Comedy of Eros," and I'm not even talking about his relationship with Gabrielle, is heartless, in my opinion. His serious side is not shown often, but when it is, it is to poignant and dramatic effect. Has anyone ever considered that his outwardly goofy exterior may just be a facade for all the emotions he feels inside but is unable to express properly?

I advise those who want to criticize Joxer and/or his growing numbers of fans to consider all of this the next time they accuse either of being stupid, anti-subtext, bigoted, ignorant, or unrealistic. One should walk a mile in another's shoes before judging him or her.

Filippa Morgan Flasheart
flasheart@hotmail.com


POST SANTA MONICA CONVENTION SUGGESTIONS

Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999
Subject: Xena Convention

I just returned from Santa Monica and want to share a few observations I had. I was glad to see the energy and enthusiasm of all the fans. Unfortunately, some of this was lost by the announcement of the new format with Lucy. I can understand why [Creation] might go this way, but the moderator chosen wasn't the right person... her questions were so "old news" that even the kids knew the answers. [Sharon Delaney] probably should have been the interviewer... [she has] a relationship already with Lucy [Lawless] and [would] interview her rather well.... Conventions for me are for getting "scoops" and new stuff about the shows and actors.... a rehash of a biography that has appeared for 4 years was not entertaining.

As far as the questions from the few fans... [Creation] really blew that one. It should have been announced over the 'net for people going to the convention to submit questions... even those not able to go could have submitted some for the moderator to ask. Then, either pick the ones you think are different... show to Lucy to pick or even chose some for us to vote on! I was extremely disappointed that I couldn't ask my "future movie plans"(and suggest LOTR or Star Wars) like all the other speakers were asked and to encourage Lucy to record a " Lucy's Favorites" album.(notice how the crowd wanted her to sing?).

Fortunately, Lucy, being the pro she is, realized the flatness of the situation and got up and walked around and got the crowd back into it.

Some other observations:

Get those Gabrielle and Xena music videos on the market!! If Gabrielle's wasn't sung by Lucy, it should be! I don't think anyone had a dry eye on Gabs and Xena's was inspiring (Lucy should sing that one too).

I'm not sure what rules Creation has for the vendors... but [they should] lighten up! I've seen more Xena stuff at Star Trek conventions. The Creation products were great... but I know there is other stuff out there.

I know Venue layouts dictate alot of the traffic flow... but having a booth in front of the food was crazy! And there has to be a better way for autographs!.... but I can't think of one yet. I waited for my row (25) to go, but had to leave to catch my plane at 7:30 and they were only on row 10!!!

Despite the above mentioned problems, I really did have a good time. I'll be there in Pasadena in 2000. Thanks [to all] for [their] time and effort put in the Convention.

Claudia Wilde
ClodYLD@webtv.net


EPISODE GUIDE SUGGESTION

Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999
Subject: Gratitude

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

My partner and I are new arrivals in the Xenaverse. As someone who travels a lot for work, the first thing I do in a new town is get a map. Well, Whoosh! couldn't be a better guide book.

Recently spent some time going through all the Whoosh! past issues--it took a bit longer than expected because every five minutes I wanted to send off a letter to the editor to express some wild thought or opinion. For someone who loves to read, and reads all types of stuff, this time spent was heaven. And kudos to Mr. Rudnick for his interviews. We love getting a sense of the real people behind favorite characters.

The Ep Guides have been invaluable as roadmaps. Can't tell you how many printer cartridges I've gone through, printing the guides out to read through as we catch up on past seasons. Can I make a small suggestion? I've noticed that sometimes new additions to a guide (commentary, synopsis, whimpers, etc.) are dated. For the sake of consistency, and for the tremendous benefit of readers trying to keep up, could that dating be done all the time? It helped me a lot in getting caught up and staying organized.

The "Where Have I Seen..." section is great fun. Trying to remember which eps actors have appeared in before is a favorite little game I play. This brings us to "Paradise Found". Fanfic lives! But wait--weren't the writers asked not to read fan fiction? Could have bowled me over watching that ep. It had so many elements of all the stories I've read recently--the only thing missing was a quick kiss after the head butt in the next-to-last scene. There were also enough subtext moments to keep us happy and the rewind button busy.

To wrap this up--y'all are providing a wonderful service to all who are Xena- addicted to any degree. It's incredible that you do this for love. Thank the gods that aiding and abetting this type of addiction is legal. Again--thank you, thank you, thank you.

Angie Sallese
ASALLESE@aol.com


MORE ON THE GABDRAG

Sent: Friday, January 01, 1999
Subject: GabDrag article

Thanks for the insightful GabDrag article. [Bob Schultz] makes an excellent case for this horrific event being within Xena's character. As a Rift-hater, I believe the GabDrag represented a fundamental shift from the Xena as presented in the 1st and 2nd seasons. But, I will ignore my opinion for now and play devil's advocate, and accede to all of [Schultz's] points.

Okay, let us say that Xena's dragging of her soulmate was in character. Fine. The next question is, what possible reason could Gabrielle have for travelling with this woman afterwards?

[Schultz] closes [his] article by saying: "The revelations and epiphanies in Illusia, Xena's return to defending the weakened Gabrielle in ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313), and Gabrielle's willingness to give her life to save Xena's, all have deeper meaning now."

Deeper meaning, or schizophrenic writing? In one episode, Xena is gleefully soaking Gabrielle from head-to-toe with her own blood. Then the next, she goes into a total panic when Gabrielle coughs up a speck of blood? Care to explain this? The only answer I can see is poor writing.

Again, I cannot disagree with the theme of your article: That the GabDrag fits in very well with Xena's character, especially given the revelations of the 4th season. But that still leaves the problem of the inadequate Rift wrap- up. The writers have never given us a satisfactory reason for why these two women still travel together. Just like the manner of Gabrielle's reappearance in the 4th season, the writers hope that this question will also just go away.

Ogami
jeb66038@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu

FROM BOB SCHULTZ:

Thank you for your note.

One opinion of mine which was not included in my article lines up with yours. I am completely a fan of shaking up characters and dragging (literally and figuratively) them through some horror.

Conceptually.

However, in practice, I don't think the rift was executed effectively. Though I am willing to suspend disbelief much of the time, the leap from the beginning of The Bitter Suite to the beginning of One Against An Army was, I agree, too abrupt.

In my article, I hoped only to defend the Gab Drag from a dramatic and/or literary perspective. To be honest, these are the only directions from which the Gab Drag is defensible at all.


SOJOURN THROUGH XENADOM

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999
Subject: Hello Kym

What was all this Xena: Warrior Princess fuss? Certainly, Madeleine Albright had more discretion, and wasn't this a kid's show?

Well, move over world and let me roar...here she comes, Miss Amphipolis! Had I lost all sensibility, or what? This can't be happening...I am a mature woman with, obviously, too much time on my hands. Yet, afterall, I was in a "lull" of sorts, (my long career in Health and Human Services was stymied through physical limitations) and I finally began to relax in October, 1998. With a fateful flick of the wrist one evening, I was drawn into Xenanization via the USA Network. Simultaneously, my niece, a Seattle computer mogul, thoughtfully purchased WebTV services for me and I Whooshed into the Xenaverse.

How was it that a "morning" person, was staying up later and later to get my Xena fix by catching up with rebroadcasts and an unhealthy absorption of copious on- line sites?

In November, why did I find myself sending an e-mail letter to Sharon Delaney of Creation, in regard to a MaryD "Jours Magazine" alert about a Lucy Lawless interview? Did I really think Ms Lawless would see my communique about how her described vulnerability and obvious intelligence inspired my need to empathically tell her, it's okay...?

In December, why did I timidly telephone the Creation 800 number to order a XWP Fan Club subscription for my niece, while that niece really prefers Hans Solo? Was I too embarrassed to admit that I, for the first time ever, wanted to join a fan club? This was really getting out of control!

In January, after reading/viewing Xena stuff beyond human capacity, I came upon a Dec.'97 Whoosh article by Denise Error analyzing Lucy Lawless' acting ability. Ah, finally...here was a commentary that Mrs. Tapert must know about! Surely, she'd heard it all before, but this review was an honest, thoughtful perspective that I whole heartedly agreed with. Denise kindly gave me permission to "send" the article. Wait a minute ... was I obsessing, or what? Moi? Of course not...it's just that there are some things a person needs to know and the erudition of another often explains that so well.

Why am I concerned about Season 5, the last one(?), when Season 4 hasn't been completed yet? Why do I care that the talented producers, writers, directors, et.al. don't let me down? Why have I not tired of perusing varied on- line episode reviews with my typical open-minded yeaing or naying? What do I really want from this relatively new idle of bleary-eyed need to know appetite? Shouldn't I pay more attention to geo/political, socio/cultural happenings right before my CNN/CSPAN eyes?

It's hopeless....somehow, through the charisma of all things XWP....I relive the principled idealism of my youth in the 60's, my enthusiastic athletic stamina, my interesting search for "what's it all about", and yes, even my love for cinematic historical drama and comedy. I am not too concerned, I remain a survivor of this sojourn intact and enhanced....no one really has to know what I hold close to my heart, mind and soul....it's just between us.

Joanne Petroske
BayBleu@webtv.net


MORE KUDOS FOR US!

Subject: A letter of no great importance, re Whoosh!
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999

Just want to say thank you very much to all at Whoosh! for running a great magazine.

Geoffrey Hedger
jasper@fruitbat44.freeserve.co.uk


Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999
Subject: Thank you!

We just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate all of your WHOOSH! articles and interviews.

Your writing is entertaining and enjoyable. So thank you very much.

Nancy and Angela Blossom
ablossom@mit.edu


Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999
Subject: website

I must say, this has to be the best Xena site I have seen. I am a new fan and cannot seem to get enough of this strange connection I feel to this program. Your site has given me so much information and fun. I actually sit here and laugh at the comments within the commentaries as well as the scripts. I want to thank you for inviting me on the wonderful journey.

Louise
Tlosouth@aol.com


Subject: Thanks for Whoosh
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 1999

I just wanted to write someone in connection and thank them for Whoosh and all the related information on your site. I especially am thankful for the episode guides, airing guides, rumor guides and all the stuff that the woman who is going to Dallas does!! I look at the Whoosh publication as well. I follow Xena and HTLJ both and I find your site invaluable for what is going on. Especially with the storylines this season 1998-1999, and especially stuff about Iolaus the past 3 months.

I 'm sure that there is lots of work to keep up the site, even if it is a labor of love. Thanks so much for it!

Sherilyn Trego
Grateful Herc/Xena Fan
strego@dlapr.lib.az.us

THE WOMAN WHO IS GOING TO DALLAS (EDITOR-IN-CHIEF) RESPONDS:

Thank you for your most kind letter. The WHOOSH Website is a massive labor of love and it takes about 30 people per month to keep this venture afloat.

I got to Dallas the 22nd of February and have been happily here for 6 days as of the writing of this note. I have already done dinner and a movie with two other Xenites ("Shakespeare in Love" with WHOOSH FAQ Editor Cynthia Ward Cooper and "Life is Beautiful" with WHOOSH Associate Editor Darise Error), and this Saturday I will watch "The Way" with a room full of Texan Xenites. When you become a member of the Xenite cybercommunity, you have friends in almost every port of call.



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