Whoosh! Issue 34 - July 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.




ARCHETYPES 'R US
MORE CENSORSHIP
THAT ACCURSED APRIL FOOL'S JOKE
HERCULES WHEREFORE ART THOU?
HEIGHT IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
THE REAL SCOOP ON DEJA VU
THE JOXER CORNER
ROMANIA NEEDS TAPES!
KUDOS
A LOT OF STUFF
WHAT HAPPENED?
EMPOWERMENT SCHMOWERMENT!


Letters To The Editor



ARCHETYPES 'R' US

From: ag118
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Thank-you, Carolyn Bremer, for introducing me to the Dramatica in your Whoosh article on archetypes in X:WP; it is a wonderful on-line resource for anyone interested in the underlying theories of fiction. Your article reaches some interesting conclusions, and the only ones that seem inconsistent concern Joxer, especially your assertion that he "doesn't fit". If, as you illustrate, Xena and Gabrielle cover all the archetypal bases through the course of the series then the only possible answer to the question "Where does Joxer (or any other recurring character) fit?" is "Nowhere". To successfully identify the archetype of a recurring character you must consider his dramatic function episode by episode.

In CALLISTO, Joxer's first appearance in the Xena-verse, he believes absolutely that he is a blood-thirsty warrior. Nothing can shake his faith, not the derision and laughter of everyone he meets, not his inability to capture Gabrielle, not anything. He aids others indirectly and he doesn't turn on Callisto when he refuses to murder Gabrielle, he just drops the knife. In comparison, Gabrielle offers a helping hand and a moral compass to nearly everyone. She actively assists Xena and tries to show Melos, Xena and Joxer the error of their ways. Joxer fits just fine in CALLISTO, representing the dramatic functions of SIDEKICK Gabrielle left behind when she graduated from passive tag-a-long to active GUARDIAN.

Joxer's archetypal "fit" in CALLISTO isn't an exception. He almost always represents the dramatic functions of SIDEKICK when he appears on X:WP, but it isn't the only archetype the character has filled. In GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN he also fulfills the role of GUARDIAN, showing Orpheus the error of his Xena-bashing ways and actively helping Xena fight Bacchus; in FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS his Joxer-Suave alter-ego is the CONTAGONIST, tempting every mortal female with a pulse and hindering Gabrielle's attempts to reunite Sarpedon and Illiandra; in THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER... Joxer leaves the role of SIDEKICK to Minya as he becomes the REASON'd SKEPTIC who doubts Gabrielle's new talent ("Excuse me while I laugh") and approaches the problems it creates calmly and logically.

Joxer sees himself as the heroic PROTAGONIST and mistakenly casts himself as the CONTAGONIST to Gabrielle and Xena's relationship in WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP when Meg and her masquerades are really to blame, but SIDEKICK is how the other characters see Joxer. They give him tasks to perform, sometimes useless ('guarding' the dock in TEN LITTLE WARLORDS), often minor (making Orpheus presentable in GIRLS..., summoning Cupid in A COMEDY OF EROS, organizing the villagers in IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL), and sometimes vital (getting the hind's blood dagger within a few feet of Hope and Ares in SACRIFICE II) that allow him to fulfill his dramatic function of providing supportive, indirect help. More importantly, when Joxer is having a crisis of faith and his belief in himself is shaken, another character steps forward to reaffirm that faith. In a scene cut from CALLISTO Gabrielle tells Joxer he has the makings of a hero, "The kind that does the right thing when the wrong thing is easier". In GIRLS..., Orpheus thinks Joxer is an incompetent, but when Joxer falls apart after Xena's apparent death Orpheus puts him back together, calling him a hero who can defeat Bacchus. In FOR HIM... it's Xena who assures Joxer that his alter-ego's bravery was really his own, because "Aphrodite just used what was already there", adding an implied threat of violence should he dare disagree with her.

He doesn't, so why should we?

A.M Marcoux

MORE CENSORSHIP

Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999

Just to report in from Rhode Island. The Way apparently wasn't the only controversial Xena episode this season.

WPRI-TV in Providence did not show The Ides of March episode May 16. It was replaced with Maternal Instincts. Xena is shown on WPRI at 12:35am Sundays -- not the prime time hour by any means.

I immediately called the station to find out the reason for the pre-emption, leaving my name and phone number on the answering machine, but to my knowledge, my call wasn't returned (I did go away for a few days, I admit).

Of course, by not showing the penultimate Xena episode, it could be compared to reading a mystery novel for 9 months. And just when you think you're about to find out the murderer, you realize with horror the final chapter is missing! Quite a letdown.

My story does have a satisfactory ending, however. I was able, a week later to catch the episode on a Boston area station. The picture wasn't clear, but good enough.

I noticed the more intense rating symbol, which may have been a factor in WPRI's decision, but it's only a guess.

By the way, the Boston channel aired "Ides" on a Sunday at 10a.m.

Christine Nowack
Lincoln, Rhode Island

THAT ACCURSED APRIL FOOL'S JOKE

Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999
From: Napalm Nacey
Subject: Letter to the Editor

The two editor comments at the end of the 'April Fools' article were surely intended as explanations of your joke, but may I point out, it doesn't matter how long subtext has been around, or whether it's there or not. What you miss is that it is there for interpretation. It's not damnable evidence that Xena and Gabrielle are lesbians. It's there for a bit of fun - it's been said numerous times.

To the point of my letter - the April Fools edition clearly poked fun at those who do not choose to see Gabrielle and Xena as lesbians. It made them out to be delusional, close-minded ignoramuses. Can't you see how that can be offensive? So what if it's just a TV show - we aren't talking about the TV show here. We KNOW it's a TV show and that isn't the issue. The issue is we were made the butt of a joke. And we're not laughing!!

We're not no-fun people. We enjoy a good laugh like anyone else. But please - try to see this from our view (if you can). Being laughed at isn't fun. Being ridiculed isn't fun. Any gay person would know this - they have it happen to them all the time. That is why it mystifies me how so many of them are ready to dish out what they receive to people like me.

I know a lot of non-subtext-seers. They are an open minded bunch of people, who believe in equal rights, who are decent and loving. They do not deserve that April Fools Prank.

And finally - I do not appreciate being called a rabid fan. I look up stuff about Xena on the net, and create a few homepages as a bit of recreation. The only piece of Xena merchandise I've ever bought is a poster. Needless to say I don't have a lot of money, and I don't really see the need in filling my bedroom with more fan-crap than I have already (I was a full-on trekker once - oy vey!). Point being - we're fans just like you. And I can speak for all of us when I say - we'd like you to remember that.

You weren't just making a joke - you were insulting peoples values and most importantly - feelings.

I'm disappointed you tried to trivialize our insult by saying merely 'Subtext has been around from day one you know' and 'It was only a joke' and 'It's only a TV show'. I'm sorry - that doesn't cut it with me.

Regards,
Nancy.
http://www.iinet.net.au/~tosh




From: Ben Taylor
Subject: Letters to the Editor
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999

RE: April fools issue.

I know this is now a bit late, but let me just state that I loved the jokes, and I find it incomprehensible that some people would take a joke so seriously. There is certainly more to life and as the lengths of the critical letters prove, the people involved perhaps take things a bit too seriously.

I love WHOOSH it is very entertaining and thought provoking, keep up the good work.

yous Sincerely,
Natasha Aiken
London




From: andjam
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999
Subject: Letter to the editor

Next April Fools, can you base it on Christians? It seems to be the only majority group that you guys haven't targeted yet, and the only majority group that is actually a majority group in the Xena fandom (unless you're actively choosing to pick on what are effectively minority groups once in Xena fandom). Most Xenites are either Christian or of Christian descent. Does anyone feel that we're scapegoating specific groups and religions different to their own (Hindus, Muslims, Joxerites, Gabrielle-Joxer relation 'shippers) for sexism, homophobia and the decline of XWP? Is there anyone out there who supports the TPTB pulling an episode if a reasonable proportion of the minority group feel that it is an attack on them? If anyone reads the Hindu protest page, they'd see that most complaining about the episode (24 out of the 25 on each page I'd guess) didn't complain about the subtext at all. But with regards to those that did, has anyone noticed that Hindus only complain about homosexuality when their religion is involved, as opposed to Christians who criticize homosexuality even when their religion isn't involved (e.g. Ellen, Telletubbies)? If we want to advance the subtext or GLBT rights rather than go out of our way to step on the toes of minority religions, shouldn't we support a Jayce episode, and the Sappho episode? And complain about the de-subtexting of Fins, Femmes and Gems more than about the pulling of "The Way"?

The show has defamed minority religions in the past season or two.

1. Satanism: The Dahak stuff was a very thin fictionalization on most peoples' perception of Satanism as a bunch of human sacrificers and sexual abusers with that impregnation of Gabrielle. My web page has further discussion.

2. Muslims: I think that TPTB were portraying the people in "Tale of Two Muses" as more or less Muslims, (not enough space to explain why, email me for details), and they had what could be seen as a bunch of misogynists about to whip a teenage girl before the heroine comes along, or at least a bunch of thugs. It made a bit of parody of TV evangelists and those denominations not keen on dancing but left its big guns for Muslims.

In both cases, worryingly enough, people have more or less agreed with what was being portrayed by the show.

I feel a bit alienated by all of the places assuming that all of the Xenites oppose the pulling of "The Way", as if I'm a traitor to the Xenaverse. But then again I'm not totally happy with XWP in other respects. Is it traitorous to think TPTB can do better?

Andjam Andjam@geocities.com

HERCULES WHEREFORE ART THOU?

Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999
From: Melissa Palozie
Subject: Hercules

Isn't there anything we can do to protest the end of Herc? Is there somewhere I can write to, or is Kevin Sorbo happy to move on to new projects?

Thank you for your time

Bright Blessings
Melissa

Editor Responds:

Kevin Sorbo is happy and moving into a more lucrative employment situation. He's done his time on Hercules, so as fans I think we should support his decisions.

HEIGHT IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

From: Linda Stratmann
Subject: Letter to the editor
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999

I thought you should know that a newspaper called Metro London ( a free paper widely distributed in the London area) published an article saying that they had been informed by "an insider at Channel 5 who screen the program in Britain" that Lucy is only 5ft 7" tall and the producers will not hire extras taller than 5ft 4". Can you believe a newspaper will publish such rubbish without even checking? (Actually, I can) If you fancy mailing them to point out the error of their ways the address is editorial@londonmetro.co.uk I will mail them anyway but it will sound more convincing from you!

Linda

THE REAL SCOOP ON DEJA VU

Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999
From: Napalm Nacey
Subject: Letter to the Editor

In response to a few of the messages about 'Deja Vu'...

Harry and Renee's Character (I forget her name) were not Xena and Gabrielle. They USED to be Xena and Gabrielle, but they're not anymore.

In my religion, reincarnation plays a big role, and I believe in it fully. My understanding of it ( and what seems to be TPTB choice to interpret it as) is that in each life you play a different part, even though you may end up with the same spirits. So say, Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer may be three mates in ancient Greece, but a few lives later, Xena may be Drucilla, mother of Thomas (Gabrielle), wife of Benjamin (Joxer). And then in another life, it may be different.

I choose to ignore the subtext. Does this make me a homophobe? No it does not. I do have gay friends, I believe very much in the equality of the gay community. I just happen to feel that Xena and Gabrielle have a relationship that's a little too sickly sweet for me. I like on-screen romances to have a little antagonism or spice to them. That's just my opinion.

Another point that seems to be glazed over is that Annie (the character played by Lucy Lawless that used to be Joxer) was attracted to Ares, however Joxer himself showed NO attraction to Ares whatsoever. I like to think that maybe in the time of Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer, that Xena and Gabrielle are supposed to be friends, and perhaps in a last life they were lovers, or mother and daughter, essentially two souls that were very very close. In their next life they realize that maybe it's not their destiny to love each other romantically, but be good friends, and they both seem very happy with that. Xena has had Marcus, Ulysses, Hercules... Gabrielle was in love with Perdicas and fancied Talus and David. My personal interpretation is that in a hard cruel time such as Ancient Greece, they are two best friends that choose to face hardships together.

Was Deja Vu homophobic? No I don't think so. It was a keen demonstration of reincarnation perhaps, and a bit of a romp to relax the jangling nerves of Xenites waiting for their series cliffhanger conclusion.

Regards,
Nancy.
http://www.iinet.net.au/~tosh




Virginia Carper
Subject: WHOOSH episode commentary: DEJA VU
Date: Tue, 01 Jun 1999

I just have a comment on Deja Vu.

One of the people in the waiting room was 'General Patton'. When I first watched "Destiny", they introduced Julius Caesar with music from the movie, "Patton". At first, I thought that was a fluke. But when they introduced 'Patton' in the waiting room, they played the same music. I think that someone in Xenaland knows that General George Patton believed in past lives. Patton had a custom of going to a place and reliving a past life. One of his past lives was Caesar. Patton's friend, General Omar Bradley thought that he was nuts. But Bradley also thought Patton reliving past lives and past life battles helped him to win the war. Virginia Carper

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