Whoosh! Issue 38 - November 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.




SUBTEXT: OUR FAVORITE TOPIC
WHERE ARE THOSE KISSES, ANYWAYS???
FALLEN ANGEL
WARRIOR OR MADONNA?
WARRIOR OR BARD?
MICHAEL HURST INTERVIEW
SO HOW DOES ONE DO IT?
A LOVE GONE WAY TOO FAR
JUST WONDERING
HELLO FROM CHINA
NATIONAL BBQ PLANNED


Letters To The Editor



SUBTEXT: OUR FAVORITE TOPIC

From: A. C. Suarez
Date: Sat, 09 Oct 1999
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I have read the essays on the matter of the subtext in XWP with interest and consider them well thought out. But it's time to give up on the subtext and the expectation for the series to recapture the 'lesbian high' of the Second Season. The problem is that we lesbians should not claim that Xena and Gabrielle have a lesbian relationship on the series. That is why we have fan fiction to indulge our fantasies.

What is called "subtext' is nothing more than lesbian innuendo written into the episodes as are so many fight scenes per episode, tit and ass Amazons for titillation, melodramatic death scenes, and some buffoonery.

What lesbians should be is outraged at statements such as Lucy Lawless's that the relationship is kept ambiguous so as not to OFFEND (a USA WEEKEND interview). So, an acknowledged lesbian relationship would be considered offensive to viewers? This from a series that wallows in violence, has sex scenes like the one of Xena disengaging herself from Borias in doggy style sex, and sexualizes the child in "If The Shoe Fits" with a JonBenet Ramsay get-up that makes her look like Aphrodite !!!

A lot is made of Xena and Gabrielle being spiritual soulmates for eternity, what is now passing for maintext. Meanwhile, the subtext, really lesbian innuendo, has been demonized in the Fallen Angel episode. By the way, shouldn't we take offense? Shouldn't we demand that the episode be pulled?

Certainly XWP is still enjoyable for lesbians as for anyone else who see it for what it is and cares for such. But innuendo does not a relationship make. I say to other lesbians: let's take Lawless's quote in TV Guide at face value and let's "move on" with our expectations.

One day some creative writers will give us an acknowledge lesbian relationship. It will be on HBO or Showtime, the better to overtly offend. It will be produced by 'Power Lesbians' and it will be hip, smart and will knock our socks off. XWP in not that show.

Are you out there, Liz Friedman?

Sincerely,
A. C. Suarez




Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999
From: Irene
Subject: letters to the editor

In response to your issue that deals with the various aspects of subtext in Xena, I wanted to thank the people who took their time to provide quite a different range of issues.

Having pondered the the concepts of subtext in Xena I think it is quite a valid point to assume that the writers are really fence sitting when it comes down to the real issues of the relationship betwen Xena and Gabrielle. As it started out as lark in the beginning with even Liz Friedman stating that even she thought lesbians were invisible hence probably why the larking has created a runaway train that shouldn't be stopped.

The relationship has taken on a more serious tone and this alone has the TPTB running scared. If the cues and clues become too obvious they have to deal with the advertisers and raving conservatives who hold the purse strings. So in a sense I think we have forgotten that amongst all this debate that they are still out to make a dollar and that is why unless the decision makers are incredibly brave about this I think it will be along time before and if, we ever see another kiss like the Quest. Because the subtext has become quite a serious thing with a lot of viewers who want to see a romantic representation between women.

This romantic notion does not necessarily mean a sexual one but simply a portrayal of two people who have born a relationship out of adversity which most normal folk never experience. I feel it is imporant for the producers/writers etc to acknowledge the fact that when they are tempted to put 'red shirts' into the script that this just doesn't work anymore. It may have worked in the first couple of seasons but even if you see them as just friends there is still a sense of uncomfortable portrayal even so. I stopped seeing them as a gender a long time ago and really am only interested in seeing how the wrtiers can extend this tale.

I hope that the daring of the earlier seasons is restored but that doesn't mean that I don't think the overtones of the last two seasons weren't daring enough. I would just like to see an honesty of expression between them. We shoudn't be denied kisses where kisses are due. After all they are soulmates!

Many thanks to the writers and staff of Whoosh,

Yours sincerly,
Irene




From: Cherbear
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999
Subject: (no subject)

SUBTEXT. Subtext. And more subtext. Would you please provide your readers with actual statistics describing exactly what percentage of the Xena viewing public gives a rats you know what about subtext. I would really be interested to know. The truth is, I don't care if Xena and Gabrielle are lovers. I love em if they are and I love them if they aren't. However, I do feel that to reduce their relationship only to this sexual element, really IGNORES a huge statement that can be made for just PURE LOVE. When I read all this stuff about subtext, I wonder how many people out there are just living in their crotches? There is an infinite Universe of LOVE that is tremendously deep, rich, and varied, that has NOTHING to do with sex. Why does this magnificent reflection of pure love and devotion between two women have to continue to be boiled down to whether or not they have sex together?

The problem is this culture, that is so repressed, that any little innuendo of love between same sex people then becomes a question of "are they having sex together?" Sex is a wonderful thing, but true love can exist with or without it. The Xena and Gabrielle relationship has shown on national Television that these two characters are strong, devoted, and soul mates. They have a connection that runs beyond sex or their current incarnations. The writers have made it clear that they do feel romantic love for one another in a future life. This is the cycle of existence that the show's writers have chosen to portray. Souls incarnate over countless lifetimes together and are connected deeply. They don't always have to have sex with each other.

I believe the message of two strong women in a loving supportive deeply nurturing relationship is a wonderful portrayal of what is missing in so many peoples lives. Who wouldn't want a friend that they could hug and kiss and caress and show open tenderness to, without being told they were homosexual. It seems that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of messages of love and tenderness. When a mother kisses her child, or caresses him, or brushes the hair gently from his eyes, does this mean she wants to sleep with him? I DON' THINK SO. People in Europe are much more open about showing affection to their friends of the same sex. It should be encouraged and not a red flag that brings about judgment from others. How often do YOU demonstrate openly the love that you feel for someone that you are not sexually attracted to? Or do you only love people that you want to have sex with? I believe this is the bigger issue.

Xena WP demonstrates two loving demonstrative women who are unafraid of judgment. Whether or not they are sleeping together is small potatoes. The bond is deeper than sex. I am happy for the gay and lesbian community that they have found heroines that are positive role models, but PU-LEASE allow for something deeper and wider and more. It is okay for them to love each other and not have sex together.

About Lao Ma. Sure there could be arguments made that she, too, was a lesbian, but again to PEG that relationship in that way to mean a sexual relationship is silly. Lao Ma was Xena's MENTOR. Any one who has ever had a spiritual teacher can see really easily the deeper chords running through that relationship, as well. Do you have to devote an entire issue to SUBTEXT??? I mean really, it is getting old. Sex is only a drop of water in the OCEAN that is LOVE. So, how about a non-biased survey of Xena viewers?? Not just Whoosh readers, because that would not be an adequate random sampling. Sorry if I pissed anybody off, but the subtexters narrow views are starting to piss me off.

Sign me,
Miffed




WHERE ARE THOSE KISSES, ANYWAYS???

From: Rebekah
Date: Sunday, October 3, 1999

Thank You.... Thank You ..... Thank You!!!!!

I absolutely enjoyed and agreed with your article ["Where Have All the Kisses Gone" by Darise Error, WHOOSH #37, October 1999].

I also come from a very demonstrative family and culture. Being of hispanic background, kissing is a very cohesive part of my life. In fact the absence of kissing is viewed as a social snub. I was shocked when I left my home in Brownsville Tx (very Hispanic) and went to a boarding school in Austin Tx. I was shocked that friends did not hug, and that families seemed so un-demonstrative. My first year there was quite a culture shock. I often hugged my friends' family more than they did. My friends and their familiies soon became accustom to my social interaction.

As I have watched XENA, I have never seen more to their relationship than "TRUE" friendship, though if they are lovers I don't care. I appreciate that if they are lovers that XENA has not gone the way of "Ellen" and made that the central point. But I to have been hurt that at the most poignant moments of the show, they have not kissed. I personally believe that kissing is a sincere demonstration of love. I also believe that this show is about Love and so in denying the kiss they deny who and what they represent.

Anyway that is all. But again thank you.

Rebekah




FALLEN ANGEL

From: Timothy J. Wright
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 1999
Subject: Letters to the Editor

I continue to be amazed at the trash Tapert and Raimi believe we'll watch. I was totally abhorred with the season premiere, Fallen Angel. I expressed my disgust a few months back as you may remember, with the direction the writer's were taking.

I just sit and nod my head in disbelief at the farcical stories they put our beloved heroines through. For goodness sake, grow Gabrielle's beautiful hair again! I sure am glad I have the first two seasons on video. Those were stories to remember, stories to relive again and again. The one's being produced now are ones to miss or be forgotten.

I was one of those fans who missed a portion of the first season when it was aired because I didn't know anything about Xena, but as most of us know, once you get started, your hooked. There's not one episode of late that my five year-old daughter can watch with me. The writers are alienating an important group of fans. I'm certainly not letting my kid's watch episodes such as Fallen Angel. I put it in the same category as the India episodes; episodes that should have been lost and never distributed or just plain unproduced.

Let's get back to Ares, Aphrodite and the fun, dangerous crew that made Xena who she is, THE Warrior Princess; the hero we all love. Let's get back to Love, War and Adventure.

Xena Fan on the Edge of Abandonment,

Timothy J. Wright
USA




From: Betsy
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999
Subject: letter to the editor

Kym: I, too, breathed a sigh of relief when you revealed to us Whoosh readers that you weren't bowing out of your duties, since your last communication seemed to hint at just that. Glad that isn't the case.

By the way, I read the latest comment (Xorys') on the Xena-opener [FALLEN ANGEL] and just wanted to put my two-cents-worth in.

I, on the other hand, absolutely LOVED the episode! Lucy, Renee and Hudson were absolutely over-the-top in their demon depictions/incarnations!!! I can't believe how utterly entertained I was, watching these actresses let out all the stops in their portrayals! If this any indication of how entertaining this season is going to be, well, I might just lose it completely!

There were so many notable moments, but I think the scene when Gab sees that taloned hand draped over her and says, "Xena?" and then leaps up, realizing it's Callisto, was such a hoot! I've been chuckling over that for days, now. Anyhoo, millions of thanks for such an incredible, enjoyable site. Y'all's hard work and dedication are appreciated greatly!

Sincerely,
Betsy from Texas (:




WARRIOR OR MADONNA?

Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999
From: Austin Repath
Subject: Warrior or Madonna

In your recent [XMR] article Warrior or Madonna, I was quoted as follows:

"millennial seers such as Austin Repath, the "millennium pilgrim," who lectures on the 2000 effect... "Woman, or if I may, the feminine energy that is found in both men and women, is emerging in a rapid and unprecedented way at this moment in history," Repath says. "But it will not be a simple case of matriarchy replacing patriarchy. Women will need to move beyond their anger towards men. There are millennia of wrongs and pain that will not easily be exorcised."

You might find it interesting to look at how this exorcism is accomplished and the Universe acknowledges her power "Woman, your time has come. Your presence will hold sway to all that will come. Your sceptre will rule..." page 195 of The Waterbearer. See http://www.yesic.com/~pilgrim/waterber.htm for synopsis of book and reviews.

Austin Repath




WARRIOR OR BARD?

From: Paully Adams
Subject: Warrior or Bard
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999

First, I like to thank you guys and gals for the excellence of Whoosh! I stop by the webpages wvery 2-3 days just to read articles and catch up on things Gabrielle (and Xena of course).

Second, I have notice in lots of the boards and webpages I visit, there seems to be a number of people who resent the "fact" that Gabrielle seems to be embracing the warrior ways and leaving behind her bardiness. It even seems that in your Xena FAQ, the question "Amazon Warrior or Bard?" seems to suggest that one cannot be true to both paths. However I disagree completely.

For years, I played Advance Dungeons & Dragons. As you may well know, one can choose to be a warrior, magician, thief, cleric, etc. One of the character class is a bard. In AD&D, a true bard is a combination of several different classes: warrior, thief, and sometimes mage or druid, and is therefore, hard to characterize a bard into a single mold or category. The bard is a gifted storyteller, comedian, healer, natue-lover, etc. A bard is a survivalist. In other words, a bard has many skills, and uses those skills when neccessary. It seems to me that Gabrielle fits well in this board definition of a bard.

So, is Gabrielle an Amazon warrior or a bard? She is a bard, who expresses her fighting skills as an Amazon warrior. Just as bards before expressed their fighting skills as assassins, knights, soldiers, etc.

Paully Adams
Lexington, KY




MICHAEL HURST INTERVIEW

From: Bevis King
Subject: An Interview With Michael Hurst
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999

I don't know if you have seen the slate for V0901 Chakram [what the satellite downlink boardcasts before the downlink], but that was really taunting us... It was the usual split slate (like the one in the article) except that all the letters are very thin and tall until you switch the TV into Widescreen mode, where it looks normal only wider... so even the slates are now in Widescreen (at least sometimes).

Regards,
Bevis




SO HOW DOES ONE DO IT?

From: t_rodell
Subject: commentary
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999

Where in Tartarus did you get the new commentary writers? There have been times before where I thought the commentators were clueless, but these folks don't seem to be watching the same episodes that I am. I am disappointed with the commentary, considering this month is dedicated to subtext. What happened to Missy Good? Is she gone forever?




From: Susan
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999
Subject: synopsis

I have only recently discovered your website and I look forward to the weekly synopsis of the different episodes. I found that because of Hurricane Irene I was only able to watch part of "Succession" but was able to enjoy the conclusion through the various synopsis. I can't wait until I see the entire show to decide which one of the reviews I agree with.

My question to you is "How do you decide who and which articles to publish in your synopsis section?" I enjoy all different view points, but I am curious as to "what makes the cut" so to speak. Thanking you in advance for your response,

As always,
Susan

RESPONSE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:

I basically reprint what is sent to me. On the rare occasion, we are sent too many and I am forced to not post some. It is then done first come first serve and those which repeat information already or aspects already discussed are left out. But that is very rare. Almost 99% of what is submitted to WHOOSH gets published in one form or another.




A LOVE GONE WAY TOO FAR

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999
From: Dana
Subject: A love gone to far

I was just wondering why you call the rumors section also a love gone to far so could you tell me ?

Dana

FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

It is called that as a joke. It merely refers to the fact that to enjoy all the detailed and arcane info that gets posted in that section attests to the readers excessive obsessiveness (aka a "love that has gone too far") about the show. Bat Morda and I decided that pretty well described what was happening there.




JUST WONDERING

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999
From: David E. Milligan >br? Subject: Letter to the Editor

Now that Season Five has begun, I was wondering if we are EVER going to see a new introduction to the XWP. The old one is beginning to get a bit stale.

And, are we EVER going to see a Full Length, Big Screen, Xena Motion Picture?

David E. Milligan




HELLO FROM CHINA

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999
From: Amanda Davis
Subject: Hi There

I wanted to tell you Hello and I like your webpage. I am sorry to hear about Kevin though but I hope it does not affect Lucy's work too much. I am sad that I can not see her episodes here in China so, the only way I know what is going on is to read your webpage. Thanks for all your information. It is like a novel about the show. You are doing a good job. Keep up the good work. Take care and keep up the good work.

Amanda




NATIONAL BBQ PLANNED

Date: Wed, 06 Oct 1999
From: MacavityCaT
Subject: Xenite BBQ 2000

Delphi Discussions is planning a major Xena BBQ to be held on July 22, 2000 at the Veterans Memorial Park in the township of Henrietta, in Rochester, NY.

The event will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. and end around 9 p.m.

All Xena fans, including children are invited to join us for a fun filled day of BBQing, games, events, and hopefully dealers tables.

The event is being held not only so that Xena fans who've made friends with other Xena fans over the internet can meet face to face, but also for a worthy cause. It's also going to be a fund-raiser for a worthy cause. All donations and proceeds will be going to an animal charity.

They can contact me at Maccat@banet.net for information if they'd like, but their best bet is to bookmark the web site I've designed specifically for this event, as it will be updated on a regular basis with all details.

The URL is: http://members.tripod.com/~MacavityCat/Reg.html

We ask them to also fill out the registration form so that we can get a rough head count so that we can calculate what we'll need to get and how to base an entrance fee. A confirmation form will be posted in or around the middle of March. But I'll refrain from posting it on the IDES of March. *L* But then again... hmmmm *L* why not?




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