Whoosh! Issue 44 - May 2000
Letters to the Editor




Get Your Latin Right Lady

From: Richard Shay
Subject: Lingua Latina
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000

Hello. I am a fan of Xena, and have been for years. In addition to the story and characters, I love the setting: a time when humans trembled in fear of gods and Caesar's armies conquered the world. And part of this setting is the Latin language, the language with which Caesar spurred his armies, with which Virgil wove tales of divine power, and with which Xena was probably familiar.

As a student of the Latin language, I noticed that your sight displays a Latin phrase: Vivemus servire

This phrase translates into "we will live to serve." However, there are two things about this that seem strange to me, and I wanted to write to you and comment on it.

First, "vivemus" is the future tense. It is translated as "we will live." The present tense of this is "vivimus."

Second, and more important, is your use of "servire." This is certainly the infinitive, and does indeed directly translate into "to serve." In English, the infinitive is used to denote purpose. For example, "we live to serve" is the same as "we leave for the purpose of serving." In Latin, however, the infinitive does not denote purpose. Therefore, the phrase "vivemus servire" has no meaning in Latin. Instead, in Latin, it should be written as "ut serviamus."

Therefore, "We live to serve" should be written in Latin as "Vivimus ut serviamus"

May the muses always whisper in your ears,

Richard Shay



Duly noted and corrected. Gratis!

Kym Masera Taborn





Association of What??!!??

Date: Sun, 02 Apr 2000
From: icebear
Subject: Whither IAXS?

I've been a regular Whoosh! reader for about a year and a half, and have found it invaluable in trying to sort out the vagaries of five years' worth of the Xenaverse. Anyway, since when did IAXS become the Intl Assn.of Lucy F. Tapert Studies? I thought that the X stood for Xena as in the show XWP, not the woman who married the show's producer. What's up with that? When I ask myself, "What would Xena do?", taking the name of her current lover as her own to appease societal expectations does not jump to mind as a possible answer. After all she's overcome you'd think Xena would want to preserve her self-identity - and that an actress would want to stick with the name under which she'd made her fame and fortune. Yes, yes, I know the difference between actor and character.... But anyway, what's the story behind the changing of the name of the International Association that Whoosh! chronicles?

Or is this just part of some April Fool's joke cover that I'm too tired and bleary-eyed to get?

icebear@scruznet.com



We have been doing this a long time. We get slap happy at times.

Kym Masera Taborn





I Hung Up On Lucy Lawless!

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2000
From: Christina Toups
Subject: (no subject)

Please excuse this letter from out of the clear blue firmament, but I was compelled to write by a friend of mine who is a regular visitor and vocal proponent of the Whoosh! site. This is by no means meant to imply that I don't indulge in a bit of Whoosh! myself every now and again. Anyway, and to the point...

I am a bard. Face it. These days, what self-respecting Xenaphile isn't a bard? Even if the stories simply stay filed away in the gray matter. Actually, the title bard is secondary to what I feel is the most unique fact about my appreciation for all things Xena.

On October 28, 1996, I received a lovely surprise phone call from Lucy Lawless. As she sat recovering from her Tonight Show injury and I from my car accident, we chatted for a good half hour before I, in a fit of what must surely have been medication induced dementia, insisted I "let her go" . There. That's it. My claim to fame; it shall be inscribed upon my headstone: I Hung Up On Lucy Lawless.

I have gone nearly four long years wanting to talk about the call, about what it meant to me to have this woman go out of her way for a total stranger. I was not an easy person to find after all. I want to set down and affirm what we in fandom long suspected: that she is among the most genuine, self-effacing, and articulate individuals on the planet. But mostly, I want one more chance to thank her. As I have yet to accomplish this is person, I have had to content myself with a card or two and a message sent through Sharon Delaney of Creation. But, Kym, as you must know, nothing satisfies like the "real thing". I will probably never meet Lucy face to face, but I feel that I would be remiss if I didn't take every opportunity to convey my thanks and appreciation for her reaching out and helping to preoccupy me during what was, and what continues to be, a difficult time in my life.

Christine Toups
aka"Roo"





Amazon Tongues

From: Rob Mound
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000

After the wrestling match in Kindred Spirits, when Joxer wakes, up Reha (sp?) smiles. When she smiles you can see her tounge is pierced! Young Amazons these days...

Rob Mound





The Frustrated Corner

From: Videntur
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 22:18:23 EDT
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Xena - Let's keep it going:

I loved writing Xena commentaries and will eventually go back to it. I haven't given up on my favorite show. However, I too, like many others also wish some of the old things that made Xena great would return. Sure, people grow and the show wouldn't be realistic if the characters stayed the same. However, there are some things that I have missed very much. Some were just temporary losses (like Xena not being back in her leather outfit- thank goodness that with maternity over, the outfit has returned). But what I miss the most is the closeness between the Warrior and the Bard. I want to see the caring that existed between Xena and Gabrielle. I want to see a show (without Eve and Joxer ). I want to see a show where the Warrior is again injured and Gabrielle is seen caring for Xena's wounds in the way that only Gabrielle with her nurturing side can; also with this show I would want it not to have flashbacks of Xena's past - this way we receive a complete hour of seeing the caring that exist between Xena and Gabrielle. A caring based on friendship and love. I miss this. I miss the episodes that were just Xena and Gabrielle and their adventure for that week. Supporting characters are nice, but not every week. I will never leave the show, Lucy Lawless is just too awesome an actress when portraying Xena for me to ever give the show up. I love what the warrior represents - I love seeing the fire in the Warrior's eyes and the "never give up" spirit (I hate to say it, but I also miss that evil side of Xena coming out every once in a while and Gabrielle trying to help Xena maintain control). I miss the serious Xena. I beg the writers to make season 6, a season which brings back many of the things that were written out in season five. I loved the beginning shows in season five but it seems that the closeness between Xena and Gabrielle is just not there. I do want to say that I like Gabrielle's fighting spirit this season and the way she helps to defend Xena. I say that we need to keep the faith in looking at Xena and let people know that Buffy and the X-files are good, but the substance is with the show Xena, Warrior Princess. Let's stop bickering over who is the better actress on the show or whether we should bash Joxer's character - let's just unite to keep Xena going and in return let's ask the writers to give us a season based on our two favorite characters, based on their friendship and based on their strength--Give us back Xena, Warrior Princess.

Sincerely,
Videntur






From: JoJo
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000
Subject: Commentary for Lifeblood

Xena is on its last legs.

It may last for six more seasons, but it will never have another episode worth watching. No no, don't hurl tomatoes at me yet. Just think about the writing...and God forbid, the acting.

I have always despised Xena's lack of continuity. The writers call it freedom for creativity, and for a while I accepted it at that. But it's gotten out of hand: Killing characters, recycling actors, bringing characters back to life. Flaws in characterization. Tragedy, then comedy, then action, then tragedy again. That's not creativity! That's lack of writing ability. After five seasons it just gets too hard to tie in characters and conflicts seamlessly, so the writers don't even try.

One week the Gods are all dead, the next Gabrielle is spokeswoman for Red Lobster. And then we have a clip show with Ephiny, Caesar/Cupid, and the girl from _Cruel Intentions_.

Everything on Xena is recycled. The plots (how many times have Xena or Gabrielle died? How many flashback episodes? Multiple Xenas?), the actors...and the acting. Yes, the acting. Doesn't anyone get tired of Lucy Lawless dropping her voice to a hushed whisper at the end of every sentence?

Speaking of recycled. What about the theme? The higher purpose.

Xena's theme, which has been loudly proclaimed in nearly every episode for five seasons has once again been summed up in this horrendously unoriginal episode.

"Revenge is not justice."

How true! What a lovely moral...for today's society. However, in a show that sells itself solely on its exotic locations and premises for adventure, it is absolutely ridiculous to assume that the values of "make love, not war" are universal. In every culture, city, town and religion killing is bad. Revenge is evil, and those who exact it are misguided and have strayed from the great fold of the greater good (there's another phrase that's been used to exhaustion.) or what-you-will.

Nonsense!

Revenge, before Christianity, was not censured, but embraced. It was part of society. It was even fulfilling at times. Revenge was very much a part of religion, especially Greek religion. Has anyone ever read the Iliad? Revenge was expected! For the theft of Helen, Menelaus launches a war. For the death of Patroclus, Achilles mutilates Hector. The Iliad is ridden with descriptions of gruesome deaths, but they are not treated as horrors which must be reprimanded with a dunce cap. They are treated as acts of heroism and great valor. The reader accepts this, perhaps even loves it. And why? Because it is a connection to a glorious age where heroes were as strong as ten men and braver than gods.

For two seasons Xena was a glimpse into this era. True, the costumes were silly and the stunts were fake...but it was interesting. But since then the charms have dwindled. Xena's moralistic quest has become old. She and Gabrielle are annoying and they meddle too much. I am tired of this endless mission to spread the teachings of modern morals. It is this intrusion of moral values which wears out the program. And to convince the Northern Amazons (whose bellicose nature is the entire purpose for their culture) by holding up a magic stick and repeating these values was just the last straw.

Some heroes are better off left in their various states of barbarism. What could we do with a Perseus who didn't kill Medusa? Or turn a king to stone? What about a Crazy Horse that didn't kill Custer? Maybe Xena should race in and tell Henry V that he didn't need to slaughter the French at Agincourt. He could settle his differences by heading back to England and living in peace and still be a hero!

But, no, it wouldn't be Xena if she didn't rail constantly against the lust for revenge. That is the theme after all, and it can't be changed right at the end of the fifth season. So she'll keep riding in with Gabby at her side and she'll tell all these little recycled cast members to forsake their respective cultures and live in peace as she does. Because Xena is the measure of all things.

And tune in next week for a special episode where Xena is lured back to the dark side and Gabrielle must save her again!






From: Xenamour
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I have always enjoyed the range and variety of approaches to storytelling XenaStaffers have used, be they comedies, dramas, mixed etc.... Trying to follow the story arc this season has been a little difficult. In other seasons comedy eps were also mixed in, but the strength of the primary story arc was not lost.

In examining why this has been true, the only thing I repeatedly come up with is that the perservering presence of the intense relationship through out other seasons held the arcs together... it was the one common denominator. Every story, every episode... no matter what else was happening... ultimately involved some aspect of the relationship. Whether Gabrielle and Xena were growing closer, growing apart, learning about or teaching each other... teasing or encouraging, supporting or questioning each other... in the end of each episode... what we remembered was what they said-did-saw-felt ~ to-with-in-for each other.

I do believe that RT did indeed have a Master Plan or a general idea of the direction he wanted to take the show. Most of what I have read in the way of interviews with various Xenastaffers does lead me to believe there has been a rough outline, albeit developing to some degree as they go, in RT's head. As in all endevours human... things don't always work out as planned.

Problem is, Master Plans don't accomodate learning curves too well. And I do believe we have all been witnessing just that... a learning curve. Sometimes the key to what makes something work... that essential element that MUST be present, isn't all that obvious until it is missing. And sometimes things in LIFE just happen to get in the way of you putting that *something* back in place even though you recognize what needs to be done. Oh.. like say... writers and actors coming and going... pregnancies... becoming a first time father.

It seems to me that Josh Becker's analysis of plot driven vs. character driven material is very apropos here. We have, for 4 Wonderful Seasons, watched a show that is CHARACTER Driven. Suddenly, in Season 5, midstream, the characters become second fiddle to the plot... only pertinent insofar as they move the plot forward. Doesn't work for this show, especially with fairly straightforward plots that lack the sophisticated and unexpected twists and turns we witnessed in the best episodes of past seasons. Let's face it..., in the writing department, the Herc brothers were no match for RJ Stewart, RT, Steven Sears, or even Chris Manhiem. No one could fake Right and go Left better than Steven Sears... *maybe* RJ Stewart... but I haven't seen much of that this season since Fallen Angel (Xena saving Callisto, brilliant!).

I love the show dearly, always enjoy whatever they have to offer because even on their worst day they are talented people and they can still entertain. But I have missed being pushed and pulled and MOVED, teased and tortured and fooled by them. And the primary reason they could do those things to me was that I *cared* about the characters and their relationship. When "the Play's the Thing"... the characters loose their meaning... and evidently their way.

Fortunately for we fans, RT et. al. do indeed appear to care about these things, and are making some pretty obvious efforts to get things back on track. The rewrite of KS was one we now *know* about, thanks to Mr. Becker. Given the magnitude of that undertaking I doubt it was an isolated occurance. I have often wondered at the timing of the re-run eps this season and if there were any correlation to airing those, RJ Stewarts return, and scrammbling efforts to get things back on track before the end of the season.

I think that "catering" to your audience would be pretty impossible given the diversity of any audience, let alone one that includes people from 115 different countries. However in this case, the Heart of the Story and the Single Most Recurring Audience Request are One and the Same: The Relationship. Perhaps it just took the PTB time to realize that fact, and even more time to work toward recovering that *truth*, simply because *LIFE* got in the way. Go Figure.

Xenamour





Episode Redux

From: A.L.Shaughnessy
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2000 3:33 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL

Season Five arrived in the UK in March, and reduced me to tears with the very first episode! FALLEN ANGEL is without a doubt one of my favorite shows to date. Little details count for a lot, and this has plenty of them. I love the way the Star of David dissolves into scores of individual angels, and the sheer joy on their faces at welcoming two new souls. Another nice touch is the way Pankos looks from Callisto to his wife as if to say "Hasn't she grown?" during their reunion.

The whole cast acquits itself well, but the guest stars are probably this episode's greatest asset. Joxer's line "Well, I'm gonna bring their bodies back to Greece - you can help me or not." shows what he's really made of. His expression as he pries the nails from Gabrielle's hands and the way he gently touches her cheek in the final scene say more than words ever could. Charles Mesure is perfectly cast as the archangel Michael. He displays just the right balance of strength and compassion, and Callisto's reunion with her family clearly brings him almost as much joy as it does her.

Hudson Leick merits a special mention for her versatility in playing two polar opposites. I've always regarded Callisto as more victim than villain, and here she finally gets the happy ending she deserves. Her transformation from demon to angel is amazing. Without the semi-permanent snarl and wild eyes she looks years younger, and even the contours of her face appear softer. Did I cry when she ran to meet her parents? Does Xena wear leather?

Xena's past crimes are also shown in a new light. Michael makes it clear that not only Callisto's parents died, but the person their daughter would have become. Perhaps in another world the town of Cirra stands undamaged and Xena travels the land with her best friend - a kindhearted, idealistic girl named Callisto. I'd like to think so. After all, FALLEN ANGEL shows that in the Xenaverse anything is possible.

Andrew Shaughnessy
Wrexham, Wales






From: Sally Dye
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000

One of the most puzzling things about "Kindred Spirits"--for me, anyway--was that just a year and a half ago (see Adventures in the Sin Trade), this tribe was totally clueless about their ancient customs, and here is the present Cyane pulling them out of a hat right and left. I guess we assume that Yakut, as shameness, clued them in on all these things? That said, I really liked this ep, if only for the fact that X read G's scrolls!

Sally Dye






Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000
From: Sgt. Parks
Subject: Commentary on "Looking Death In the Eye"

I read the previews, then I watched the episode. Other than the inevitable involvement of Joxer (Robert Trebor, Robert Trebor, why have you forsaken us?), I thought it was pretty good. Xena outfoxes the gods (again), by using the "dollie gambit" (again). The Warrior Princess actually repeats a tactic; brilliant! They never saw it coming.

Athena takes Zeus' place as de facto leader of the gods; I can't think of anyone more qualified (except maybe Hercules), but even she has a tough time keeping Ares in line.

"Death In Chains" redux, only Xena's doing the chaining now. Another nifty tactic, I must say. However, why couldn't Athena just "home in" on Celesta? Maybe the chains masked her signal (or something). Celesta shows no favoritism (one of her best qualities), but you have to admit that Xena had a point; it's not up to the Goddess of Death to determine everyone's "time". In other words, stuff happens.

O.K., the race through the woods & the fight at the cliff; not bad, but who wrote Ares' lines? His exit was lousy and not very believable. But I liked the way Xena took the reins and jolted him with a "jackrabbit" start. Neat...

Skip ahead to the tombs of ice and the beginning of the "Rip van Winkle" arc (my term). Questions; won't the gods know that Eve is alive? Won'ty they ask Celesta "by the way, did you really come for Xena, Gab & Eve? I don't remember seeing you there." Maybe Ares figures he can keep them under wraps, figuring that they are really "all dead", not just "mostly dead". Please let there be a happy reunion (eventually) when Xena & Gab wake up.

Overall, I'm not so sure about this new direction for the show. I sincerely hope that when Season Six rolls around, we can get back to basics (and I hope that the Gab Staff returns for good!).

Hmmm, not so short after all, huh? Oh well; once I get on a roll, I can't stop! That's all there is, there ain't no more, and remember: SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE! (sorry, I couldn't resist). Take it easy...

your pal,
Sgt. Parks





Xena Night Announcement

From: Holly
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000
Subject: Xena Night in Chicago.

In the beginning was...
XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS....

Xena Night at STARGAZE in Chicago! (5419 N. Clark)
Tuesday, May 9th... 7-10pm
$4 Cover
Hosted by Amy Matheny, LesBiGay radio host and star of XENA LIVE!

Watch episodes, bloopers, and music videos! Chat online at the Xena Palace with other fans! Win raffle prizes- Xena Playstation games, Xena Universal CDs, Margaret Cho tickets, and more! Special appearances by members of XENA LIVE!

Brought to you by LesBiGay Radio and Universal Records.
LesBiGay Radio- AM 1240 AM 1470, M-F, 5-7pmCST
1-888-WE-ARE-GAY
Listen WORLD WIDE: http://lesbigayradio.org

Click the picture to see a larger image.





France Needs Our Help!

From: Sylvie Paris
Subject: Help from another fan!!
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000

Hi!

My name is Sylvie Paris, I'm a French Xena fan.

My message has nothing to do with WHOOSH, which is an excellent website. I write this message because we have a BIG PROBLEM in France. Indeed, we need a lot of support from Xena foreign fans, because TF1, the channel broadcasting the show, stop it. So, another french fan created a protest page.

I just ask you, if you don't mind, to write on this protest page. The site is on: http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/8446/arret.html. After, you have to go on: "Je rajoute un message!". You write your name, your URL, your e-mail, your comments and click on "I'm done!".

All the message are sent to TF1 frequently, just to remind them that we, XENA fans, are here and want Xena back!!

Thank you very much for reading my message. (and excuse my English).

Bye-Bye!
Sylvie PARIS.









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