To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
LOVE VERSUS SEX
NEW FUND RAISER
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999
From: Captain R
Subject: Article in Whoosh on the origins of the Chakram.
May I first take this oppourtunity to congratulate you on an excellent paper. I found it well written and very informative, but much like you I suspect, I was left feeling that I wanted to know much more.
I do have one question, which I hope that you are not too busy to answer, and that is did you ever get a chance to make a 'real' one and try that out?
What do you think of the shape of 'Xena's' as compared to those that you researched? i.e. Thick in the center and tapering out to a thin and symetrical outer edge. I know that you mentioned that the ones you had seen had flat bottoms and a wing like top, but where do you think that the producers of the show got that shape and design from? Is it a Greek pattern or just aesthetically pleasing?
Thanks again for the great paper and I wish you well in the future.
BRET RUDNICK RESPONDS
Thanks very much for the kind words.
It's a pretty esoteric subject. There's a little more material available, but not much. You have to really dig in the archives of academia and museums for it, too.
Re: trying out a real chakram
No, I never went that far. The chakram's use as a weapon of any consequence is pretty minor. It's unusual and interesting, but nowhere near as popular, effective, or historically influential as, say, the sword or bow. Even in Hindu references, where the chakram has its origin, its appearance is rather sparse compared to other weapons.
There are two patterns to Xena's chakram, one on each side. They're both pretty simple and evocative of the general properties of the chakram as depicted on the show -- simple square and blunt pattern for striking but not cutting, and a flame or arrow pattern evocative of cutting/slicing. They don't seem terribly Greek or Hindu per se. If anything, the square/blunt pattern seems more Roman than anything else. Whoever did design it had a good eye and sense of purpose, and at least for me, it's stood the test of time these several seasons. It's not something I'd spend serious time or money on, however.
LOVE VERSUS SEX
From: Jorgen Norberg
Sent: Monday, August 02, 1999
Subject: Sex At Last... but Where?
In the article "The Dreaded Crucifixion Vision -Or- Sex At Last!" William James manages to find a sexual alludation in the simple words "I Love You", when uttered during a crucifiction scene. I find this rather disturbing, actually. WJ must be seriously sexually disturbed.
Or is this yet another example of the almost hysterically gay community looking for gays and lesbians where there are none to be found?
Would a better name for this website be "Dyke"?
Are Batman and Robin lovers? Hercules and Iolaus? Joxer and ... Ares? The Three Stooges? The Marx Brothers? Robin Hood and his merry men? Every college dorm room in the country where two boys or two girls share? For the sake of morality it should be mandated that only people of different genders can share a room.
Is WJ the kind of person who would find Clifford Huxtable and his son Theo to be having a sexual (and incestous) relationship simply because they occassionally hug and say "I love you son/dad"?.
I'm not. Are you?
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999
Subject: Has Xena got milk?
Depending on whether the eps have been produced and whether Xena is having a mundane baby or giving birth to current characters and whether Wall Street has collapsed, maybe we could have Xena doing some breast-feeding. I cannot recall seeing in the media or in real life women breastfeeding. Can a society call itself tolerant if it can't tolerate women breastfeeding in public?
NEW FUND RAISER
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999
The PNW ONLINE XENA FAN CLUB started a charity collection for an 18 year old boy who was in an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. A fund has been started by The Bank of Nova Scotia in Canada in attempt to help the family pay for his care and to move to a wheelchair accessible house. The fan club wants to raise money from now until Christmas to help him and his family out.
Please visit http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shire/1291/graph/fisher.html to get all the information on the fund raiser.
Your help is appreciated.
BATTLE ON XENA!
Xena Torres: Warrior Writer
PNW ONLINE XENA FAN CLUB president
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999
From: P. Tirabasso
Subject: The Night of the Summer Breeze
I enjoyed your editor' s letter. This is something I can relate to and it brought some smiles. I've backpacked in the Maroon Bells area , Flat tops Wilderness area, and in the eastern woods of the US. I have a solution to that camera problem.... find a camera carrying partner to hike with and ask to borrow theirs. ; ) However, if you like to hike alone, then this option is definitely out. : )
This is beautiful imagery....
As you hike through the countryside, you may come across a 19th century deserted farmstead, in an unexpected clearing in the woods. You will sit for hours and contemplate it, wondering who lived there and why they left. You may also find remnants of what they planted in their gardens. You will hear the sounds of local birds and wildlife on the outskirts of the deserted farm, as if they are calling to the people who lived there. You will kick yourself for not having your camera.
The whole piece you wrote makes me want to get out into it again. (Even the cut of the can lid) There is just something about getting out into the wilderness that makes me feel stronger; both in mind and body. Maybe renewed?
Any way, thanks for sharing this with us.
(Xenite from Ohio)
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999
Subject: Whoosh! Article: "Debunking the Myth of the Joxerphile"
I would just like to enthusiastically compliment you on the article, "Debunking the Myth of the Joxerphile" by Rebecca Littlehales, featured in the recent issue of Whoosh! I am a Joxer fan, and I have often been subjected to the type of abuse and disregard that Ms. Littlehales discussed. I feel that her article expressed my feelings as a Joxerphile perfectly, and I applaud her for her thoroughness and unique approach. My hope is that this article helps some people not familiar with our particular area of Xena fandom to understand our point of view better. I would really enjoy any pro-Joxer articles in the future, and I hope that there are some forthcoming.
Great job, Rebecca and Whoosh!! :-)
From: Teresa Jago
Subject: Letter to the editor/Joxer
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999
I would just like to say how much i enjoy whoosh. I have only recently found your site and have been very busy going through all your back issues.
I have been reading all the letters to the editor and have been quite upset at all the Joxer bashing. I have to say I think he is wonderful, (I'm sad, I know.)
I have tried getting through to the fan club page that was in your 6th issue (so you want to be a Tedite) but I can't get through. My e mail was also returned. Am I doing something wrong or is this page now unavailable or what. Please advise.
Once again, I find your info riveting and quite essential to a closet Xenite such as me.
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999
From: Shelley Sullivan
Subject: LETTER TO THE EDITOR
In response to Anita Lorenz' well-considered letter concerning Joxer and his place in the XenaVerse (August, 1999), I'd like to respond and clarify my points where there appear to be elements of mis-understanding.
Certainly Joxer has his place in the lives of Xena and Gabrielle. I did not suggest otherwise. Where we appear to differ is the reason for his many appearances. While you feel (and please correct me if I'm misunderstanding you) that Joxer is an integral part of their lives and because of that he appears far more frequently than other characters, I feel that *because* he's had so many more appearances than other characters he's become an integral part of their lives. In a nutshell, he's integral because no other character has been given the 26 opportunities that Joxer has been given to become so. Same character, different rationale.
As an aside to this, I fully realize that actor availability comes into play. Ted Raimi is contractually obligated to be available and others, such as Rob Trebor or Allison Wall, or Bruce Campbell are not. Geographic considerations also, I imagine, play a part.
What I stated in my original letter was this: "My personal preference is more of a balance in supporting comedic characters, given the number of comedy episodes in a season. Not the elimination of Joxer, in other words, but the elevation of existing and new characters." Utilizing other characters wouldn't negate the integration of Joxer into Xena's and Gabrielle's lives. Rather, it would also allow the integration of two other characters (or more) into the lives of our heroes, thus further expanding their "extended family". I don't find this a "bad" thing...each character brings their own strengths and weaknesses into play to interact and influence storylines, thus providing even more and varied stories to tell. I don't quite understand how Joxer's position as a friend of Xena and Gabrielle's would be somehow "threatened" if other characters, new and existing, were used a bit more frequently and Joxer less frequently. I don't see Xena and Gabrielle sitting around the fire "ranking" their friends in order of importance to them.
I certainly agree that TV shows change, and that the end result can be problematic for a variety of viewer groups. For this show specifically, I consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed a large part of each season...I know many fans have not, and for a variety of reasons. Obviously I am not a fan of the comedies, but I feel more than compensated personally by the outstanding dramas which have changed in tone and depth from the first two seasons. Change "for the better, sometimes not" is always going to be a subjective assessment but without change, there wouldn't have been episodes such as SIN TRADE (1 and 2) or the India stories or IDES OF MARCH.There are many possibilities for him. He has been used a lot, and it's been shown through numerous episodes that Xena and Gabrielle really care for him, even if he annoys them a lot. You can't deny that factor, and this isn't some comic thing thrown in. Joxer now has his place firmly rooted in the Xenaverse. I pray to God (or Gods) he stays put.
I include the above quote and the ones that follow because I find them rather...interesting. Why would I deny that Xena and Gabrielle care for him? It's in the dialogue, and not up for interpretation, and really has nothing to do with my point concerning the number of his appearances in comparison with other characters. And in part, it's necessary for them to care for him *because* of the number of his appearances...since it's hardly realistic, even for the fictional XenaVerse, to have a character appear so often to whom they are indifferent or whom they actively dislike. No other single character has been given the same frequency of appearances that Joxer has been given. That's an indisputable fact, regardless of whether I, or you, approve of it or not.
I'm also going to assume that you don't mean to imply that caring about Joxer negates Xena and Gabrielle caring equally for other characters. I don't think you would agree that they don't care about Autolycus, or Lila, Minya, Amarice, or other friends they've made along the way. I'd simply like to see more of them interacting with those other friends, old and new. I've already seen them in many stories with Joxer...I'd like to see their associations horizon broadened. That would also qualify as a change, and a welcome one for me and others.Therefor, Joxer is not in the league of Salmoneus, Minya, or Ares. He's a step above them, yet a step away from the every-ep ranks of Xena and Gabs.
Again......he's a step above Sal or Minya *because* he appears so frequently. Sal and Minya have had 7 appearances between them, and haven't had the opportunity to interact with Xena and Gabrielle that Joxer has. Salmoneous hasn't been seen since second season. I certainly wouldn't have assumed that Xena or Gabrielle cared any less for Joxer had he made fewer appearances, would you? I would have assumed that Xena and Gabrielle have a variety of friends who interact with them in the course of their lives and for whom they also care.
What does this mean? He's the only man to become close enough to the girls that they let him stay with them in their travels. Even Hercules didn't get that treatment from Xena.
Perhaps I'm mis-understanding you, but it seems that you're implying that Joxer is the "token male", if you feel that his gender is relevant to his travelling with them, or that he's so unthreatening as a man that Xena feels she and Gabrielle are safe around him. Even I wouldn't go quite that far.
I would not agree that Joxer is the only male "deemed worthy enough" for them to travel with, if that is your assumption. Leaving aside Ares, who as a God turns up to put a plot into motion, there are three recurring male characters we've seen who aren't baddies and who aren't dead and are free to move about ancient NewGreeceland if they choose...Autolycus, Salmoneous and Eli. Their total appearances are 13: 7 for Autolycus, 3 for Sal and 3 for Eli. Eli has travelled with them, and so has Autolycus, and all three appear to have busy lives of their own independent of Xena and Gabrielle...lives I would like to see more of. Except for Eli. As for Hercules...it doesn't follow logically at all. Herc and Iolaus have their own hero-type deeds to do, and it makes sense, from a "do good where you can" point of view that their unique abilities not be concentrated but rather spread out so as to help the largest number of people. Xena stated in ULYSSES that Ulysses, Gabrielle and she could do a lot of good, which certainly implies her willingness for him to travel with them, and had Palaemon wanted to go with them, I doubt Xena would have objected, nor do I think she would have offered any objection to Cecrops travelling with them had he wished to do so.My message for Shelley and their ilk is - get used to it, accept it, or ignore it. It seems Joxer is going to be in the next season, and will have a few episodes where he makes an important appearance.
Certainly Joxer is going to be in the next season, that's common knowledge. It does not negate my, or others, opinion on slapstick comedy as typified by Joxer, nor the fact that he appears more often than any other character. I (and my ilk) do not enjoy slapstick...I never have, I never will...not with Joxer, not with Jerry Lewis, not with the Three Stooges. Since I've felt that way for decades, I have no problems with my lack of acceptance of that style of comedy when that's all that's offered. Joxer is simply the latest in a long line of characters who is, if you wish to look at it that way, a "victim" of that dislike. Others do enjoy it...great. But variety is, after all, the spice of life and Joxer fans should get used to, accept, or ignore that some fans feel as if we're living on a comedic diet of plain porridge with no brown sugar.
As for getting used to it, or ignoring it, expressing an opinion is part and parcel of exchanging points of view. I wouldn't have written what I considered to be a temperate letter, nor would you have bothered responding to it, if either of us were prepared to "get used to it, accept it or ignore it.", nor should we do so. There are many elements to an active fandom, and the exchange of various viewpoints is one of them. We all learn something from that.
Contrary to what you stated, I did not suggest that they get rid of Joxer: please reference the quote from my original letter which begins the fourth paragraph of this letter. To re-iterate what I have already said: I would like to see other characters as well as Joxer. Xena and Gabrielle have an affect on many people, and I'd like to see that. You enjoy Joxer, and that's great. I enjoy Salmoneous, Minya, Palaemon and other characters, and that's not so great because I'm not able to see much of them at all. Unless you somehow feel that Joxer's friendship with Xena and Gabrielle would be somehow threatened by the presence of other people turning up with some regularity in their lives, I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that perhaps a few episodes this upcoming season could be used to see more of other characters who have proven popular. That's not a "whim", that's an opinion. It doesn't exclude Joxer's fans, but rather includes fans of other characters as well, which is a win-win situation.
RJ Stewart did not say that he didn't like the character (if this is what you're alluding to...please reference my original letter for the exact quote), he said he could be over-used, and that's what I stated because I agree with this. I do think Joxer has been over-used. I do think other characters have been under-used. Salmoneous has had 3 episodes, none since season two, so I'm afraid I don't agree with your point about catering to the whims of other fans should Salmoneous, for example, appear in a couple of episodes that did not include Joxer. Salmoneous's association with Xena extends as far back as THE GAUNTLET, so I hardly think that 5 episodes in five seasons is catering "to the whims of other fans" if they used him instead of Joxer.
To sum up (yes, at last!), despite my personal opinion of Joxer, I certainly agree that he has his place in the XenaVerse. My viewpoint is that the same can be said for other characters and I'd like a chance to see them. If this is being catered to, then yes, I'm asking for that. Don't think of it as being anti-Joxer, think of it as being pro-diversity. Lots of fans like shredded wheat as well as porridge.
From: Crystal Blue
Subject: "Debunking the Myth of the Joxerphile"
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999
Three cheers for Rebecca Littlehales! She has covered many of the essential stereotypes that plague us persecuted Joxer fans and rebutted them with grace, thoughtfullness, and clarity - it's the kind of article that makes me feel all warm and squooshy inside.
Chief, Joxer the Mighty's Fighting Mighty Women Fighters
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