Whoosh! Issue 33 - June 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.




April Fool's Month
The Way Controversies
L'Morte de Caesar
Communism Lives!
Deja Vu'ed
Ides of March Marches On
Amazons
Christianity and The Bitter Suite
Censoring XENA
Don't You Ling Me
Subtext Revisited
Mental Illness in the Xenaverse
Joxer Corner
San Francisco Convention
NIGYSOB Game and sniveling "fans"
Kudos
Family Affair Gripe
Has XWP Lost It's Touch?
Enough Already!
Bitter About Ephiny
Rick Jacobson Interview
Playing the L-Card
Xena: Lesbian Icon?
Missing in Action


Letters To The Editor



April Fool's Month

Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999
From: Carol Norton-Smith
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Re April Fool Issue
I don't believe it! You got me AGAIN!




From: Kim Allen
Subject: Letter to the editor
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999

Yippeee, yahooey, hurray!
What an excellent trick to play!

From one trickster to another - what a blast!
Thanks for the April Fool's giggle.




Subject: Re: Your "April Fool's joke" Page for issue 31
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999
From: NZealfan

Dear Editor:

I have submitted articles to Whoosh! before, and I do enjoy reading your website. That's why it was with a lot of chagrin that I felt the need to write this letter. I don't feel that the references you used on your "fake" April Fool's Day page were called for. I will not deny the fact that I am a Christian. I have certain values and I feel they should at least be respected. I understand that there are a great many people out there that could be termed as "religious" who are not loving or the least bit kind to anyone with a differing opinion. I, however, am not one of those people.

I believe that degrading anyone is a sign of crudeness and incredibly poor taste. I am myself - my own person. I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for everyone. I may not agree with them - I may not feel that what they do is in their best interests, but as momma always said, "You can draw more flies to honey than you can to vinegar."

I don't even intend to scathe you with this letter to the editor. I just wanted to point out that should you ever wish to have certain people like you, respect you, or think you're for real, you have to put yourselves in their shoes and understand that sometimes people aren't standing up for what they believe in just to make you angry. They're standing up for what they believe in because they truly feel it's right. That's called integrity. It's no different than your belief in your own value system.

I was disappointed at the blatant attacks on what you probably call the "conservative right". I don't consider myself liberal, conservative, right, or left. I consider myself who I am. I understand that when people can't see what you term your "liberal" point-of-view, they're automatically ignorant. People aren't ignorant. People come from different cultures, different places, but that doesn't make them stupid. Sometimes it makes them wrong. It's not a crime to be wrong. Sometimes people believe what they believe because they believe it. That means they have a different opinion.

That's the most unique thing about humans. We all have a different opinion. That makes us interesting - it shouldn't make us adversarial.

Remember: Honey, not vinegar.

This is one fly that loves your site that may think twice from now on. It is not in my personality to stand by as ANYONE is cruelly degraded.

Regards,
Disappointed in North Carolina




Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999
From: Anita Lorenz
Subject: Latest 'Joke'

Hey there.

It seems you've upset a few people with your 'April Fool's Issue' in the list my page is attached to.

Those upset are (as you probably are expecting) fans who do not choose to see subtext or do not find the subtext to be central to the show. Those fans do exist :)

While I realise all this is meant in jest, may I please point out that you have hurt feelings by comparing such fans to 'Kathy Lee Gifford' (Come on guys, that's enough to upset ANYBODY! :).

Perhaps next year, you can be a little more wider in your scope of jaunts. It is supposed to be a day of laughs afterall.

Kindest Regards, and a 'Happy' April Fools,

Nancy.




Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999
From: baermer
Subject: 4/1/99

Obviously, this was my fav:

Lesbianism Be Damned! Part 12: Excessive Hottubbing As a Common Symbol for Platonic Friendship in Ancient Greece
By intellectual@academic.edu

but I loved this address:
LewinskM@intern.org !




From: Argo5656
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999
Subject: April issue

Haven't the time just now to read the lastest Whoosh. Just snuck on to read the titles. I think I hurt myself laughing!!!!! You bards are the best!




From: CG1212
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999
Subject: April Issue

Thank you thank you for the gift of laughter!!! I always love your April home page spoofs.




From: CR
Subject: Whoosh31
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999

Re Whoosh 31:

ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a look at the Contents page and thought, Yeah, they've *really* decided to do something different this issue. Bet they get flamed!

Then I clicked on one of the links - and cracked up laughing!! I literally collapsed in a twitching heap on my keyboard, completely helpless. Honest! I'm still wiping the tears off my glasses. You guys are definitely too dangerous to be allowed to live!

(The reason it got to me, I think, is because I fell for it completely - I was looking forward to reading a couple of the articles and I thought 'they must have been collecting all the renegade contributions for quite a while').




From: Christine Flora
Subject: WHOOSH! "Special" Edition
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the "special" issue this year. I was laughing clear to the bottom of the page!!

WAY TO GO!




From: Kerry Dolan
Subject: ?!?!?!?!?!?
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999

OK, you totally had me going, I was so pissed I wouldn't even look at the articles - being too much in a hurry to look at the authors, which would have clued me in! So a couple of hours later, it occurred to me - AHA! I bet it's an April Fools joke.

Thanks, had a great laugh over it.




Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999
From: Findley K. Boyd III
Subject: [Fwd: April Fool's joke]

I'm writing in response to your April Fool's joke cover. First, I am a non-subtexter, and while I was a little miffed, more than anything else it disappointed and saddened me. And I want you to understand that I am capable of laughing at myself, as any of the many friends I've made on the Xenaverse list will attest. I would like to think that I can give and take the yucks with the best of them. Unfortunately, however, the Whoosh cover simply made me felt ridiculed and left out. See, I watch the show, and interpret a platonic relationship. But, that is my interpretation only, and I feel that in order to show true respect to your fellow Xenites, that you can't try shoving your view of the show down someone else's throat. Everyone's interpretation of the show is valid, to them, and that is what is important to remember. There is no puzzle here, and I've seen the same hot tub scenes, looks, touches, kisses, etc., as everyone else. There are no 'secret' eps, and after they filmed the last hot tub scene in Paradise, Lucy and Renee got out of the tub, put on their robes, and probably went to their trailers. There wasn't anything else- unless you know something I don't. *g*

So I hope you can see what made me so disappointed with your cover- it basically claims that anyone who *isn't* a subtexter is in some sort of denial. Do you have any idea how insulting, and demeaning that idea is to a friendshipper? You are insinuating that I watched the show, and came up with the 'wrong' interpretation, and for that I should be lumped in with every other homophobic idiot who rails against anyone who enjoys the subtext interpretation of the relationship. To put it another way, you're saying that I'm not being honest with myself. I also didn't appreciate being automatically put into the same category as Jerry Fallwell and Jesse Helms. I ask you simply: assume that you *honestly* interpret a platonic relationship, now go back and read the 'humorous' titles that were part of the joke. Can you see how it might seem it was saying that non-subtexters aren't *real* fans? How *patronizing* it felt reading them? And I've seen several forums in which people have expressed similar concerns and feelings. To be as honest as possible, after all of the various 'subtext wars', it seems in extremely bad taste to try such a thing, and only served to alienate one particular group of fans, and for the only apparent reason being that they were different. And let me ask you another question- if it's all right to exaggerate the non-subtext position to derive some humor, why isn't it acceptable to do the same with subtexters? I have yet to see subtexters poke fun at themselves for analyzing every frame of film to find that elusive 'subtext moment', that one look, or touch, just for that split second, which indicated to them 'proof' that Xena and Gabrielle were in love romantically, or already in a sexual relationship, or any of the many other interpretations of the relationship. I don't see an even situation here, and it reinforces the idea that people aren't laughing with me, they're just laughing at me for being different.

The only way all Xenites can get along without trying to kill each other is to agree that everyone's view of the show is just as valid to them as ours is to us. And true respect means not attempting to figure out 'why' someone interprets the relationship a certain way. That only leads to unintentional insults and mind-reading. How many times have flame wars begun with the following statement: "I don't see how anyone could watch and them as ." It's not for anyone to figure out 'why' anyone else feels or thinks a certain way. They think/feel/interpret the way they do because that is who they are. And that brings us right back to the 'denial' theme of your April Fool's joke, doesn't' it? After all, the only people who could possibly try to 'explain away' the hot tub scenes would be academics who would need to rationalize in some complex manner to do so- it's the people with common sense and the 'proper' acceptance of same-sex relationships that interpret the 'correct' meaning of those scenes, right? Honestly, isn't that what the joke implied?

I leave you with a favorite story I use when I see two people start yet another silly fight-to-the-death over how they see Xena and Gabrielle's relationship. It involves the philosopher/scientist Wittgenstein, who was standing in the middle of town one morning, watching the sunrise. A villager saw him, and pointed at the horizon, and said that the people in the middle ages must have been a bunch of morons, since they watched the same sunrise as he did, yet they still believed that the sun went around the earth. After all, every elementary school kid learns that it's the earth that the moves around the sun. To which Wittgenstein replied, "True, but I wonder what it would have looked like, if the sun *had* been moving around the earth?" The point is, of course, it would have looked exactly the same. So I ask the question, if the hot tub scenes 'mean' that X and G are in some form of sexual relationship, then what would those scenes look like, if they were "just friends"?




From: L J
Subject: April got me again
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999

As usual - I fell for your cover in April, forgetting the date. Congrats on getting me to laugh whilst on the 'net once again!




From: LaRecha Cummings
Subject: Spiffy!
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999

Just wanted to let you know that I was HORRIFIED when I read the topics in the new whoosh (episode?). But THEN I clicked on one and I got the April fools message, and I thought it was AWESOMELY hilarious. *BG* I was laughing for hours, even though it almost made me have a coronary at first. *BG*

Keep up the great work, we all love you and Whoosh!




Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999
From: Laurie-Ann Cota
Subject: wow!!

I thought this was THE BEST April fools joke I've ever seen!! I almost choked when I saw some of the articles. Wow you guys shot my temperature up about 10 degrees and not in a good way!!! I got a good laugh when I saw the real issue!!!! You guys rock!!!! I love Whoosh!!!




From: Lucyfer
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999
Subject: Whoosh's April Fool

You hooked me with this one!

How Lucy Lawless' Appearance in Adult Male Entertainment Magazines Lead to a Heterosexual Reading of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and What We Can Do About It
By FlintL@hustler.com

Granted, I thought the email addy was fishy but I thought the author wanted to remain anonymous. Silly me, the whole thing was fake!!! The rest of the titles were great too, after I realised what was up.

Just wanted to let ya know, you people are soooo sick. You need help. :::grin:::




Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999
From: Michele Witt
Subject: April 1st...

Love your April Fools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm still smiling!




From: Nikalaos
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999
Subject: April fools articles LOLLO!!!

You know, I was actually looking forward to reading that Moodrings thing abut Gab! I mean, it's true -- Notice her top goes from blue to green to lighter green to gold now. It's like her inner child happiness is being destroyed by her affection with being with her best friend. (yeah, I'm one of the "they're straight" people, although I wouldn't mind a bit if they turn out to be lesbians in the end. I guess it's just an over dramatized subject.) LOL. But really, the moodrings thing was good. You Whoosh people never cease to make me smile! What would fans do without you?!

thanks for everything!




From: Susana
Subject: April's 1st
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999

Congratulations for the whole Whoosh work and, specially, for this fool's day trick page.

Susana Vernieri
Porto Alegre, Brazil.




COMMENT FROM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, KYM MASERA TABORN

The April Fool's Month Faux Whoosh Page was my idea, and I wrote the lion's share of it (also contributing were Bret Rudnick, Beth Gaynor, and Bongo Bear). Regardless of one's personal positions on the subtext issues, there is no denying that the subtext exists and that the producers have acknowledged it. However, although the show's creators have acknowledged it and adopted it for their own uses, the subtext interpretation is almost all a fan created construction.

The satire involved in the April Fool's page was poking fun not only at non-subtexters but with subtexters as well. The statements were so absurd and parodic that they were only really bringing up at what lengths people will go to forward their arguments, whether they be pro or con subtext. I regret that some readers were offended. However, the subtext angle of XENA is well established and therefore it is more than an open game for parody and satire. We at WHOOSH exercised our freedom of speech to make a statement about extremes and the underlying truth that this is just a television show.

COMMENT FROM SENIOR EDITOR, BRET RYAN RUDNICK

The subtext issue is one that is well known to those who prefer to see it as well as those who don't. It's been a topic of debate, discussion, and even dissention, which makes it also fair game for satire, parody, and other forms of humour.

Those who seriously object to the cover on pro or anti subtext grounds should bear the above in mind. It's a joke, pure and simple, committed by a group of people who themselves have varying degrees of being pro or anti subtext.

Whether one likes it or not, subtext has been a part of the Xenaverse from Day One. Ignoring it won't make it go away. Liking it or disliking it won't change the fact that there are people who may think otherwise. It is as absurd to suggest that the show has a completely subtextual interpretation as it is equally absurd to suggest subtext references do not exist at all. Out of such a crucible, an April Fool's Day cover is born.

Anything of such sufficient magnitude should expect to have some fun poked at it. We've done it before with Joxer, we've done it before with ourselves, and we'll do it again with something else next year. Perhaps a "Rabid Fans" edition. (:

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