Whoosh! Issue 42 - March 2000
Letters to the Editor






From: ExNkdGabby
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000
Subject: To The Editor

I am very disappointed in this magazine.

For a long time, I had heard rumors of Whoosh! being a Joxer-phobic center, and so I stayed away. In the last few weeks, however, I ventured in and decided to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised! There was tons of information about the show and its characters, almost more than I knew what to do with. And to my surprise, in the episode reviews, some positive comments about Joxer. I didn't find anything negative about him (although I must admit I wasn't looking), and I even began to plug Whoosh! to my friends as a Joxerphile-safe place.

Then, February 24th rolled along and an extremely rude and insensitive comment was made. Joxer and Gabrielle romance was called nonsense. Forgive me, I didn't realize this magazine was for Xena/Gabrielle subtexters only. I realize that now and that people with other views are not accepted, certainly not welcomed.

Thanks for treating Joxer/Gabrielle romantics just as subtexters have been treated all this time. Like idiots. I'll go back to my "nonsense" now and leave you to the wonderful world of subtext.

Melanie Lakey
Gabrielle/Joxer Romantic
Fanfic Writer
Xena Fan




From: WDBoldstar
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000
Subject: Woosh: To the Editor: G/J "Nonsense"

I would like to protest a recent remark in Woosh describing an episode as one that "started all this G/J 'nonsense'." As a Xenite and a GJR, I find this incredibly insulting. The GJRS Tradition is a group of people of all creeds and races, and yes, even sexual preferences, and none of us appreciate being called nonsensical. To dismiss us all just because a slightly larger group of the on-line fandom (Which is probably not much bigger than us, and is as much a drop in the bucket as we in the scheme of the non-netcrawling Xena-watcher at large) prefers a different match-up on the show is not what any publication that hopes to be a major part of a fandom should do. I know that almost no-one in the GJRS would dismiss "The Quest" as "The Episode that started all this XG Nonsense."

I ask you to please be more responsible in your service to the Xenaverse.

Thank you,
Daniel Whitcomb,
Xenite, Gab-fan, Joxerite, and very likely ex-reader of Woosh.




From: Greg Gruschow
Subject: To The Editor
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000

I feel I must speak out about a recent comment made in your "Today In Xenaverse History" section of Feb. 24th, specifically:

"TODAY IN XENAVERSE HISTORY February 24, 2000

In 1997, FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS was released. This episode started all that Joxer/Gabrielle nonsense."

Now, even though I don't really like the fact that you called the Gabrielle/Joxer dynamic nonsense, I do know that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Still, if you are going to insult a section of Fandom (even in a tongue in cheek manner) you should really get your facts straight. For Him the Bell Tolls was *not* the start of the "nonsense" as you call it. Rather, it was A Comedy of Eros.

Greg Gruschow
Fearless Leader of the Joxer Shields

KYM MASERA TABORN RESPONDS:

The episode FOR HIM THE BELLS TOLLS was the first episode to intimate any romantic interaction between Joxer and Gabrielle. In this episode, Gabrielle for a brief moment fell under the charms of the bell. Previous to that episdoe, ANY romantic inclinations by Joxer was directed to Xena or a Xena lookalike. This brief intimation was then built upon in COMEDY OF EROS which introduced out of the blue that Joxer had a crush on Gabrielle that was not caused by Bliss. The only precedent pointing remotely to this development would be the brief interaction in FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS. My facts are as straight as they can be, as my facts usually are.





THE LAO MA DEBATE CONTINUES

From: Ariadne de la Montagne
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000

Naturally I immediately noticed Andrew's letter in which he pointed out that he felt it was wrong to dismiss Lao Ma as a failure or an irrelevant character.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is not my issue. Of course, since the writers introduced Lao Ma as Xena's mentor, it would be impossible to dismiss her in any way. They have to find a niche for her and the stories now have to be worked so that she gets some credit for whatever goodness Xena tapped into. My point is, why did they have to tamper with a storyline that was flowing along smoothly? I think it would have been much more effective and believable (as I stated in my first letter) if the Chin experience could have been worked into the present and not the past. Lao Ma could have been a living breathing character instead of a dead one.

As for Xena being a different person in 'Gauntlet' than she was in the first ep she appeared in, we've always been fed the line that she never killed women and children and Salmoneus re-iterated the fact that in spite of her ferocity she did give people the chance to evacuate a village. This could possibly have been Lao Ma's influence but she could also have been remembering her own village, her mother and brothers, especially Lyceus. Since at the time these first eps were shot Lao Ma's character had possibly not even been conceived yet in anyone's = imagination and her son was not in the picture either, that idea didn't come to fruition till the second season, that was my take on it when I saw the first actual 'Xena' ep, 'Sins of the Past'. Another thing I've noticed about this show is that it seems that the writers were at first not willing to make her SO evil, but in in later eps during flashbacks of her time with Borias she appeared as some sort of mythological mass murderer, yelling for crucifixions and even willing to murder the child Yakut, not to mention personally implementing the massacre of an entire tribe of Amazons. Again, all this happened after she'd been supposedly mentored by Lao Ma, and this new facet of Xena's former personality came into play after the Lao Ma character had already been introduced. So if anything the writers were being totally inconsistent if they then later expected people to buy the theory that Lao Ma taught her compassion. If she did, Xena wasn't paying very close attention; or maybe she was absorbing it into her subconscious and it came into play later. I think we're supposed to believe something like that but it sure didn't help the poor Amazons she offed.

Well, who knows what goes on in the minds of the writers. We can all argue till we're blue in the face but if the writers suddenly decide to alter a storyline or change a character's personality we can just smile or grit our teeth and go along for the ride. Since I'm not willing to give up the show I figure I just have to take the good with the bad, but I still reserve the right to voice an opinion on a show that's become so important to me. Nevertheless I'm extremely grateful for the Xenaverse according to Missy Good.

Ariadne de la Montagne





TOO MANY FOREVERS

From: Tess1189
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

OK, now I am confused. Maybe the respected and erudite editor of Whoosh can make this clear for me. How many "forevers" does Xena have? Is she going to spend forever being reincarnated with Gabrielle or is she going to spend forever in the Elysian Fields with her children? Um....can she do both? Should I not take the story so seriously that logic matters? Will this be explained by later episodes? Heaven, Hell, Tarterus, Elysian Fields, reincarnation, Amazon Land of the Dead, Archangel, demon, Mother of Peace, oh my goodness I lose track. Is it just me?

Befuddled in Michigan

KYM MASERA TABORN RESPONDS:

I think we can kiss continuity goodbye in a big way for XENA. There is also a rumor that our ladies are going to be dead in another episode. Methinks the powers that be are going out of their way to remind us beyond a doubt that this is indeed only a TV show.

Maybe we are seeing the return of the evil Xena who likes to mess with her family's and friends head (we all know she'll wind up in Tartarus anyways...heh heh).

I originally thought they we inplying that where you go when you die is determined by two things. FIRST, where you are. If in India, you were reincarnated; if in Greece you were given an appointment with Hades. SECOND, if you were in Greece, before your appointment with Hades, your professional memberships were checked. If you were an Amazon, you went elsewhere. If you held no professional memberships, you went to Hades (more indicative of his essential wimpdom and how wussy a god he really is). Now, it looks like if you are slated for the Elysian Fields, you can then opt out of it. More proof that poor Hades, not only does he get his things stolen every other year (or his sister kidnapped), but he truly is the wimpiest of the Greek gods.





WHERE HAVE ALL THE COMMENTARIES GONE?

From: cameo678
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000

I've always enjoyed the various commentaries in the Xena episodes. Lately, there has been a lack commentaries from the writers. I just want to know what happened? It was fun to find out whether the writers felt the same way I did about each of the Xena episodes. Are they all too busy or have they lost interest? Just curious.

KYM MASERA TABORN RESPONDS:

I only publish what is sent to me. We used to get up to 6 or 7 commentaries, now I am lucky to get two!

I guess people's interests are waning. it's a lot of work to write those things. They are a true labor of love.

If this keeps up, I may be forced to start writing them again. OH NO MR. BILL!





WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

From: Petra de Jong
Sent: Sunday, August 01, 1999
Subject: WHOOSH article

"What's the problem? Just let them kiss!" - Why the Dutch don't get it

The subtext is a funny thing: either you see it or you don't, either you like it, hate it or don't really care. It's also a thing that is looked upon differently in other cultures...

'What is this so-called subtext?', a question a lot of us Xenites get asked by friends, family and colleagues who have read about it somewhere. It is also a question that comes up in a lot of interviews of cast and crew with the press, also in the Dutch press. While the answer (subtext = lesbian undertones) might get a 'Wow! What a bold move!' reaction in the States it gets an 'That's it!?!?' reaction in the Netherlands.

The initial interest of the Dutch press in the subtext stemmed from the fact that they were curious about the fact that apparently there was this American tv show with a lesbian undertone which was a big hit in the States.

It is quite well-known that homosexuality still isn't really accepted on American television so they were wondering about this apparent contradiction and contacted the Dutch Hercules and Xena Fan Club about it. When it became apparent what the subtext really was (lesbian undertones with the emphasis on under) they all had the same reaction: 'This is it? This is what's causing all the hype in the States?'.

They had somehow expected some more physical 'action' between the leads (hugs/kisses), not some vague look from Xena that can be interpreted as romantic love between Xena and Gabrielle, not those few lines that may hint at more. And this opinion is shared by a lot of Dutch people who hear about the subtext.

Those 'stolen touches and glances' between Xena and Gabrielle really pale next to what is being shown on Dutch television: lesbian love triangles on one prime time soap series, lesbian love scenes on a drama show, kisses and love scenes between gay men in another prime time soap series, gay and lesbian wedding proposals (yes, gays can marry in the Netherlands) on prime time dating/love shows, and so on and so on. And all these things happened without the shows losing ratings or getting bad press as a result.

It is no wonder that many Dutch viewers wonder why Xena and Gabrielle haven't really kissed by now. They tend to forget that it is still an American tv show, a show that has to play by American rules. While a kiss or love scene between two women is considered normal on Dutch television, it isn't considered normal (acceptable?) in the United States.

Of course, this situation is especially infuriating to Dutch subtextfans: they see lesbian scenes everywhere except in their own favorite show. Sometimes they wish that 'Xena: Warrior Princess' was a Dutch show: if that had been the case then Xena and Gabrielle would have been married by now.

Petra de Jong






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