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" to expedite the process. All letters received by 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 and may be published at the editor's discretion. Letters received after the 15th of the month may be reserved for a later issue.
The Convention Issue Whoosh #57 (June 2001)
All Hail Bluesong
Xena Media Review
Sharing Some Art
Organize Those Xena Tapes!
Ted Raimi Needs Your Help!
Surprised and Entertained #001-040
Group Therapy #001-017
Cut That Cord...NOW! #001-050
Surprised and Entertained #041-100
Group Therapy #018-034
Surprised and Entertained #101-140
Group Therapy #035-050
Surprised and Entertained #141-193
Group Therapy #051-065
Group Therapy #066-081
The Convention Issue
Subject: Pasadena Con - Letter to the Editor
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001
My congratulations on your Pasadena convention issue, particularly the excellent and very full report by Jodi Walton. I'd already read all the reports on all the mailing lists, but still Jodi's account had a huge amount of new detail about the appearances of all the guests.
It was fascinating to read LL and ROC's comments on their acting techniques and their experiences on the set, I don't recall having seen information like that before.
My congratulations on an excellent article.
From: Andrew Shaughnessy
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Kudos to Beth Gaynor for her "Retrospective Article About a Retrospective Panel". The discussion about what went right and what went wrong in the six seasons of XWP appears to have been very interesting, and I wish I could have been there to hear it.
Amazingly, I couldn't find a single conclusion with which I disagreed. The GabDrag was an example of Xena's actions seldom having negative consequences. As such, it demonstrated TPTB's apparent desire after the first two seasons to change Xena from "flawed hero" to "perfect hero". Another way in which this was done was to make Xena as nasty as possible in the flashbacks to her past. This may have made the "reformed" Xena's behaviour look better by comparison, but it also made her look somewhat hypocritical, as she was often seen doing things she claimed never to have done. The flashback episodes also had the unwelcome side effect of weakening the Xena-Gabrielle relationship by curtailing Gabrielle's screen time, and hence her interaction with Xena.
In the section "Right: Big Events, Small Focus", Beth lists four episodes which would all feature in my Top Five for their respective seasons. She's right -it's not necessary to save the world in every episode. Remember that for the average villager, "the world" extended only to the horizon, and many would live out their entire lives without ever visiting the next village. The importance of relatively minor events cannot be overstressed. When Xena's army torched Cirra, Callisto's world was destroyed, with dire consequences for both Xena and Gabrielle - one losing her son, the other her husband. In later seasons, Xena and Gabrielle seemed almost lost among the increasingly grandiose story arcs, and suffered from a subsequent lack of character development.
The final section heading, "Soooo Right: The Leads", says it all. I can't imagine anyone but Lucy and Renee in these roles. Amazing, really, when you consider that Lucy wasn't the first choice for Xena and Renee almost failed to be cast because it wasn't thought she could look young enough! Together, they created two wonderful characters who transformed the lives of many people. Thanks, ladies!
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001
Subject: Panel Notes - Whoosh June 01
It would be interesting to know what the trend of other syndicated shows was during the Xena viewing period. One would think it would have to show a steady decline in viewers also since we have been told that Xena led the pack.
I would be very interested in knowing how you think the convention would have gone had the final episode of Xena been aired before the convention. Do you think it would have been a bloodbath? (Wants to laugh here but can't, sob).
Thank you for your always enjoyable contributions to Whoosh and the Xenaverse.
Thanks for the kind words and the note. I believe that during its run, Xena stayed at or near the top of the heap in the syndies list, rising and falling with the ratings tide. It only seriously lost ground in terms of list position near the end. But still, I think it's important to consider that there are not fewer people or TV sets in America over the last 6 years. Those people are watching something. A lot of them are watching something else. As for the finale being shown shortly before the con, had that happened, I suspect there would have been a need for riot police -- mainly for the two sides of fans that would face each other off (pro and con finale). -- Bret Rudnick
From: Bat Morda
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001
Subject: Letter to the editor...
I'd like to respond to Phillip Tracy's Pasadena Diary- specifically where he tries to twist the charity auction into an exercise in egocentric grandstanding. I happen to be friends with the person who bought the chakram and can attest that it wasn't about ego, or attention, or using the audience or anything else. It was about being fortunate enough to be in a position to give a lot of money to a charity (and getting a chakram in the process). Many attempts have been made in the past to interview the woman who won the auction, since she's participated in auctions before and she won't grant them. If it were about attention she would. The fact is that it's a rare enough that Creation Entertainment is auctioning stuff off for charity- you don't think they'd rather keep the cash? A children's hospital is getting a tremendous gift and I for one don't think that the giver of that gift- or anyone who gave generously during the convention weekend deserves puppy pot-shots thrown at them.
Love All...Serve All,
Philip Tracy, the author of the article, responded:
If the lady in question was such a paragon of philanthropy I suggest she could have followed the examples of Messes Ford and Rockefeller. Maybe the reason she won't grant interviews is that she fears having to answer hard questions like the ones I asked. I was raised to believe it's unseemly to kiss up to the rich. Presumably, Ms. Morda was raised differently.
Kym Taborn, editor-in-chief of this journal, responded:
I must disclose that I consider myself a close friend of the woman who bid on the chakram at Pasadena 2001 for $40,000. I have known her since she got the first chakram at Burbank 1997 and Whoosh interviewed her.
From my observations and associations with her, I see her motivation in participating in the charity auction in Pasadena as encouragement for Creation to do more charity auctions in the future and as support for the one they were doing then, than for her own personal glory or whatever (if she were in it for personal glory, I suspect she'd be able to figure out a more spectacular way of doing it-- it ain't that hard in this fandom) .
If one knew her, one would know how ludicrous the personal glory/ego theory of motivation is in her case. Since Mr. Tracy does not, he cannot be expected to know this. However, his reference did offend many people-- including me. But it is his opinion and it raises some valid issues, so it stands. As an editor I do not want people writing articles for Whoosh just to humor me.
This was the first time in a while where Creation was doing a full blown charity auction. The reason it bid so high is that my friend has a "competitor" who plays with her to see how high they can get. It is a harmless tradition since both people have enough money to where this is part of a sound estate planning scheme. Furthermore, the recent events of the auctioning of Xena props and costumes for astronomical amounts shows that there is a serious market for these items. It is unrealistic these days to think that one is going to get a high profile prop for $25 or less. Also, I suspect the rank and file of fandom can live with one less prop being out of their price range. I see no problem if these two "high rollers" can get a unique Xena artifact out of their trouble (also I can see where my friend would look upon this prop as a closure-- she got the first chakram auctioned off in 1997; it is only fitting that she should get the last, and it's not as if she did not "pay" her share for that pleasure). Much of the audience looks at the proceedings as they would a sports event. They have their favorite "team" and they cheer for them. My friend was not bidding against herself. She wanted a chakram and so did someone else. Because of that simple fact a charity got $40000 more than it would have otherwise. What is the problem with that? If only all our trivial pursuits aided humankind in such a way.
From: Linda Mallory
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001
Subject: Your Editorial
Tears and smiles, kiddo. Kitsch, saccharine, etc., a love gone too far...I know, I know. I can't possibly know as you have, given your self-assigned obligation to make it fun for yourself and everyone else. Everyone else. Literally, everyone else. Isn't the internet wonderful? Do you know what you have done, what you have accomplished?
I have to admit I gave you some grief once over your Lucy slam-editorial re Sword & Staff. I regret not tempering my comments with the recognition of what you've done. Since then you've had my unqualified admiration and respect. And earned it every step of the way.
My comrade, you sound like you are nearing the end of the road. If so, I for one will not blame you, because it was hard enough when I was running Tom Baker (Dr. Who)'s fan club back in the 80s. What it must be like nowadays I shudder to contemplate. And you've soldiered through for years like this, evidently without "official" sanction or support, relying on grass roots support and assistance. I salute you. I genuflect to you. Oh h*ll, kudos, kudos, to Kym!!
Dear Kym, I've never really known what you do for a living. If it doesn't include this kind of outlet for your creative and organizational talents, I hope we see a change in career in your future!! I appreciate the excellence of Whoosh! and wish you a future that opens these gates wide to you. The sky is your limit, Ms. Mistress of Whoosh!!!
In short, I understand that Whoosh's months may be numbered, no matter how great the commitment to a beautiful era in our lives. It may be difficult to sustain. You may wish to do so for a long time, and I'm not about to discourage that. But I just wanted to say that what you have done (with wonderful assistance from great allies and colleagues) is a huge accomplishment. Be justly proud, put it on your resume, you're world famous!
Godspeed. I'll be back as long as you're here. I don't know whether I'm feeling the change in the air too early, but if so, that's the reason for this maudlin post. Three cheers to you and yours. HUZZAH! HUZZAH! HUZZAHH!!!
In celebration of those of us with many skills,
From: Nora Manzanares
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001
Subject: Future Collaborations!!
Wanted to drop a line to say that I really enjoyed your editorial on the convention as well. I thought that what you said was right on. Especially in the assertion that we do all we do and have done, all because of a TV show. Man, I know what you mean. You did a great job in capturing the essence of probably most of us.
From: Dafydd Thomas
Subject: letters to editor
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001
RISE AND FALL AND FUNDAMENTALISM
The excellent letter, 'Rise and Fall' (June) lists 80% of why seasons 4-6 were so abysmal. Then he disappears on a tangent complaining of "Subtext heavy season 6". Oh yeah??? I'll believe that when I see it. Except I won't see it.
Gabrielle had such a range of wonderful facial expressions that could speak a thousand words. Joe Lo Duca's score could sum up all the humour and emotion of a scene with a musical plink. But watching the re-runs, I couldn't enjoy them, I was too angry. TPTB threw away all this glory for a pocket of Vatican gold! B******ds! It took me nine months after the poison of season 5 before I could enjoy re-runs again.
I won't watch season 6. I don't want to know about Roman Catholicism. It is because of the mess the churches and mega-corporations have made of running the world that I NEED my holidays in Fantasy land where Love blossoms and the good guys win.
I want to remember Gabrielle's beauty, her innocence and her joy, I can't bear to look into her cold, dead eyes while she sacrifices crowds of non-believing orphans.
There is no subtext in season 6. Even if Lucy and Renee acted out full-frontal sex in technicolour with surround sound and smellovision, it still wouldn't be Subtext. Subtext is a celebration of the immense SIZE of the devotion that Xena and Gabrielle share for each other multiplied by the theory that they express their love carnally. The Zombie Eli disciples are incapable of Love; all they can do is LUUHHVE, which means murdering each other on the rare occasions that they are in the same scene.
Subtext is impossible without the original characters. Tapert said, "Nothing is written in stone." He means he made Gabrielle into a nothing and wrote that law in stone, then, he made Xena into a nothing and wrote that law in stone.
'Rise and Fall' proposes that the Eli thing is just a gamble by Tapert to keep the show fresh and new, a gamble which just happened to fail. Tapert made a big deal of apologising for BACK IN THE BOTTLE and then kept on doing it. If he wants freshness, why is Eli so firmly nailed in? There are many theories of this type; when we saw our beautiful show torn to shreds and defiled before our eyes, we couldn't believe it. We ran around like headless chickens, looking for some explanation, ANY explanation. The Taperkles theory: FISTFUL OF DINARS Petrakles married Xena and lost interest in her. SIEGE OF AMPHIPOLIS Ares had sex with Xena, lost interest and sent her to be a prostitute servicing his warlords ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA. Therefore, when Tapert married Lucy, he lost interest, sabotaged her show and sent her to pose in soft porno MAXIM. The Chairkram theory: Studios USA own Jerry Springer which consists of couples throwing chairs at each other and humiliating each other in public. A Studios exec. has a brilliant innovative idea, "The husband produces a TV program where he murders and humiliates his wife every week and then the wife murders and humiliates her ex-best friend." The personal pique theory: Tapert was jealous of Renee's popularity, so he degraded Gabrielle, then he noticed that everyone in the world was in love with his wife, so he destroyed her show and portrayed his own firstborn as Damien 2, Destroyer of Worlds. I cannot feel that someone so large-hearted as to get the idea of XWP in the first place could be so pathetic.
All these theories seem so credible and powerful like great waves carrying all before them, but these waves crash against the solid cliff of where is the money to come from? They explain the season 4 crash, but why would any studio continue to produce a program with plummeting ratings? Why would any network give it prime time slots? The chairkram theory explains season 5, but cannot explain season 6. "Where is the money to come from? Dear Lisa, my dear." Who has motive, means and opportunity to spend three seasons ramming Roman Catholicism down our throats?
Once in happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action,
Dafydd ap Thomas
All Hail Bluesong
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001
From: Mary Smart
Subject: Bluesong: Spoiler Princess and Bard of the Xenaverse
Please consider doing a tribute to Bluesong. Her synopsis/spoilers are accepted as currency (and near canon) throughout fandom. If anyone could claim the title "Bard of the Xenaverse", it is she. For all these years, she has been our Spoiler Princess, toiling away with consistently good writing, even when the show did not do the same. She always told the story with a clear, clean, concise and (perhaps most importantly) impartial writing style.
Her "just the facts ma'am" synopsis style left even a spoiler whore like myself with a few surprises. She always reported on what she saw on screen without putting her own personal twist (and I do mean "twist" when compared with other writers) on the episode.
Please let her know how much the fans love her. I think she is deserving of the titles "Bluesong: Spoiler Princess" and "Bluesong: Bard of the Xenaverse."
Let's hear it for the grrrrl...
Date: Sat, 09 Jun 2001
Subject: Quicktime clips on Whoosh
Wow! Thanks for posting up all the movie clips for downloads!! I live in Canada so I don't have E! News and for some reasons, I don't get to see the long version of finale previews either, so I welcome any and all clips that you post on the site!
Don't fight the urge..... ;>
We fought the urge to clutter the sight with multimedia clips for 5 years, but since the show was literally winding down in front of us, we just felt like trying something new. I would like to thank tbl007 for making the clips for us. --Ed.
Witchblade Episode Guide
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001
Subject: Witchblade kudos
From: christine stephens
great news about whoosh in the news--congrats!
i also wanted to say i'm so happy you picked up Witchblade. the existence of that show makes the blow of no-more-new-xena a little easier to bear. i think i like it better than buffy AND nikita.
so, thank you!
We live to serve. --Ed.
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Linda Lynch
I wanted to thank you and complement you on your latest article:
THE EFFECT OF REPEATED EXPOSURE TO A WOMAN IN LEATHER
Xena Drives Women into Each Other's Arms
I loved it!!! Please keep up the great work.
Thank you very much. I will endeavor to keep a chin up.
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001
Subject: (no subject)
What is all that about? No one feels that Lucy L. should not get on with her life. I certainly am a huge fan of hers. She did a great job and must be a fine person; however, I still think the series finale is a farce and has caused damage that will not be able to be repaired unless a television movie is done to erase most of the last few paragraphs that made absolutely no sense whatever. Tapert obviously wrote it that way to see what kind of reaction he could get.
Dearest Unnamed One,
Since I had not seen the concluding episodes of the series at the time I wrote the latest NEWSFLASH! piece [currently on the main page of WHOOSH, but eventually will be archived in the NEWSFLASH! archive], be assured I am not judging the finale's quality. Please do me the favor of not spilling the final episodes' contents all over my keyboard.
What I am commenting upon is the widespread desire of the Internet fandom to keep XWP in business either in a continuing TV series or even a movie production. Perhaps you have noticed the on-line petition now being circulated? It fairly demands a return of the Warrior Princess. Your missive expresses extreme displeasure with the final scenes and the need to resolve them in some future adventure. Such a resolution, of course, requires imposing further contractual obligations on Ms. Lawless which might impede her other career plans. I will miss Xena, but I look forward to seeing Ms. Lawless in whatever future role that awaits her.
Xena Media Review
Subject: Re: [xmr] Saying Farewell To 'Xena Warrior Princess'- A Final Tribute
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001
What an excellent article [referring to an article distributed by Xena Media Review]. Thanks so much for alerting me to this article which I would probably have missed. Once again, I have to say I really thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication.
Subject: HtLJ transcripts
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001
I can't begin to tell you how much the whole Xena/Herc experience has meant to me, and what a wonderful, wonderful place and resource Whoosh has been, and how much I laud and cherish you for all your work. Thank you and all Whoosh staffers for a truly great thing.
Love and leather,
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001
From: Ellen Turner
Subject: (no subject)
After six years of using your sight for spoilers and plot-lines, I thought it was time I thanked you for all your hard work. Whoosh is my number one Xena site and you have done a wonderful job with it. I sincerely hope that the site continues to exist even though the show is stopping.
From: Suzanne Goodman
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001
Subject: re thanks
As Xena Warrior Princess is drawing to a close as a series, if not as an ongoing legend, I've been wanting to tell all the talented, smart, funny and devoted people in the Xenaverse how much I've valued and enjoyed their work over the years.
Whoosh! has been a star in the Xena firmament. As a gathering place and outlet for fans, a shrine for worshipers, an invaluable information resource for viewers and media reporters, your site is second to none. You have created and nurtured a website that is the best of what an internet community should be.
You have assembled a terrific team, including Bret Rudnick and Bluesong among so many others, and inspired a steady stream of contributors who continue to enrich the site. I know how much long, hard and unpaid work it is to create and maintain Whoosh!
I hope Whoosh! will not fade away with the end of the series. The addition of material on other action-heroine shows is wonderful (although none, as yet, match the poignant brilliance of Xena and I doubt any ever will). And I hope your energy and interest will not flag until such time as TPTB answer the fans' fervent wishes for Xena: Warrior Princess: The Movie.
So once again, thanks from this fan for being one of the great galaxies of the Xenaverse.
From: Noelle R St Germain
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001
Subject: Love your site!
I wanted to let you know how much I love your site. I'm in a Counselor Education & Supervision doctoral program and was talking with a friend today about the potential of doing a dissertation on projective identity, catharsis, and attraction to particular media types (i.e., why Xena is so important to so many people). Really enjoy the availability of info on your site!
From: M Marino
Subject: RE: Disappointed
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001
I just have to say that your work and organization of Whoosh has been outstanding over the years! Thank you for such a wonderful chronology of this show...I know you've had help, but you got it started.
Sharing Some Art
From: Sami Pickering
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001
I've been a fan of Xena from the very beginning and just thought you might like to see one of my paintings of the duo! Hope you like it!
To see a larger version of this painting, Please click here.
Organize Those Xena Videotapes!
From: Donald Granger
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001
Subject: I may finally have something to contribute
When you get a chance take a look at this and see if it is something that you could use on Whoosh. http://donaldgranger.home.att.net/xena.htm. It is an Excel file for tracking your XWP tapes. It was born of necessity since many of my tapes are not recorded in any logical order. It is complete (sad to say).
Ted Raimi Needs Your Help!
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001
From: Nicola Woods
Subject: On-line Fan Support for Ted Raimi and Joxer the Mighty
I've started a petition to support Ted Raimi. When it gets enough signatures, I'm going to print it, bind it, and mail it to his agent. I'd love the book to be thick with support which is why I am asking for your help. It is not an unknown fact that Ted has stopped surfing the net because of all the anti-Joxer he has found. I'd like to show him that he does have fans, a lot of them. I want him to read what they have to say.
You four have the most trafficked sites, as far as I know, in the Xenaverse. There are a lot of people that I'm sure would want to sign it. This is all in very good heart and spirit, and I am hoping that you will post the link on your sites, where Ted's fans can see them and show their support and appreciation.
You can find the petition at -- http://www.petitiononline.com/joxertm/petition.html
Thank you for your consideration,
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