Whoosh! Issue 61 - Ocotber 2001
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" 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.

Group Therapy I and Group Therapy II
Will The Last Person Leaving Please Turn Off The Ligh (editorial)
Forget Group Therapy: Boycott!
The Death of a Warrior
A Clue In Need
September 11, 2001
Sword and Staff Corner
Alex Poindexter Corner
Fans Will Never Give Up
Creation Entertainment
Renee O'Connor Project
Fan Movie Clips Site
Kudos and Happy Fifth Anniversary
The Pit

Letters To The Editor

Group Therapy I and Group Therapy II


From: Ed Smith
Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 3:28 AM
Subject: Group Therapy Issue

I wrote what I thought was a pretty good article for the Group Therapy Issue. Granted it didn't have the depth or polish of some of the submissions you recieved (Inga's artilce was probably the best), but it certainly had the substance of many of the pieces you chose to include and may have raised one or two points that the other pieces didn't. I know you can't make every submission an article. Still, I'm disappointed that you chose not to include it.

Ed Smith

Editor Kym Taborn responds:

Your paper was published. It appears as G246 located at http://whoosh.org/issue60/letter60w.html. The response to the Group Therapy call was overwhelming. We received about 1590 responses. We have published all of the publishable ones in issues 59 and 60. We had to cull 60 articles from those 1590 to publish as features. We felt that if anyone took the trouble to share their feelings with us, we should offer them to the other readers as well, so we put the rest of the 1560 in the issue as well.


From: Andrew Shaughnessy
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 7:00 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

For those of you still grieving over Xena's death, and the fact that Gabrielle was left alone, I've include a verse I saw on a greetings card recently:

"True love doesn't have a happy ending...

...True love doesn't HAVE an ending."

I hope this helps.

Will The Last Person Leaving Please Turn Off The Ligh (editorial)


From: Ogami
Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 12:50 PM
Subject: Issue 60

Quote "The NetForum has been killed, just like Xena, and the fandom is suffering for it as well. My Xena fandom social life is drying up and I literally can see it as it recedes."

I'm finding I don't miss it, Xena fandom, or the Xenaverse online. This fall, I am looking forward to new seasons of Buffy, Andromeda, Ally McBeal. I may even watch the new Enterprise series.

I joined Xena fandom in the middle of Xena's 2nd season, the Xenith (so to speak) of internet fandom for the show. It was a magical time, full of discovering interesting websites (like Whoosh), and fan fiction stories. I perused picture galleries, downloaded Xena WAV files and integrated them into my desktop. (Darnell from Dirty Half Dozen still says "That's got to be uncomfortable." when I choose to minimize an application.)

My financial and personal involvement in the show intensified in the 3rd season. I bought a lot of merchandizing, I became a member of the Renee O'Connor fan club, I had letters appearing in Whoosh. I really felt part of something special. (And I still believe that.)

As the quality of the show itself declined in later seasons, taping Xena episodes became a chore. I stopped reading fan fiction. (This is that long long drop you were alluding to.) Looking for well-written episodes became an exercise in frustration, of seeking oasis in a desert of episodes like "Married with Fishschticks", "Heart of Darkness", and "Motherhood".

Look at that. I profess to have lost interest in the show, yet I still go to the trouble of spelling "Fishschticks" as it appeared. What's wrong with me? Why did I devote so much brainpower to a show? I could have found the cure for cancer for all the thought I put into this fantasy show!

And that's just it, we fans used a lot of brainpower on this show, because we believed in the themes and messages it brought to our real lives. A pity the producers never viewed it the same way. Thanks for continuing to give us a place to read views on the show, and how it ended. :)



From: Cordy
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 4:11 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

First I want to thank you and the staff at WHOOSH for providing a wonderful website that I've enjoyed for many years. Thanks also to Tapert & crew for providing an incredible show that touched me more than any tv program I've ever seen. I might not have liked every episode but it's been a terrific ride and I'm grateful.

You were absolutely right in your "Mojo" editorial about the essence of the show. Subtext or not, the show is about a relationship between two people dedicated to each other, an ideal which is addictive in nature. I love my family, but on days when my teenage children are being-what else?- typical teenagers and my husband is distant because he is drained from his demanding job, I welcome the Xena episodes as pleasant fantasy.

Also, in "Mojo" you mentioned One Against An Army, and that ep came to mind while watching the end of FIN II. There is a very touching moment (one of many) in OAAA when Xena tells Gabrielle she is her inspiration for doing the things she (Xena) isn't capable of doing. The music is identical to the music at the end of FIN II when Xena gently argues with Gabrielle why she must stay dead. I suspect this was done deliberately to tie those two eps together.

Like many viewers, FIN grabbed me by the gut and I wrote a long commentary. I wasn't surprised to see many outstanding contributions to WHOOSH by fans with similar feelings. Rather than be redundant when others have already expressed my thoughts so eloquently, I just want to make a few points that might have been missed, by relating XWP to two of this summer's movie releases.

Since I was not familiar with the Hong Kong action film genre, it was fun to see "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Some of the fighting moves and weapons were similar to Xena's. The musical accompaniment to fight scenes was often reduced to nothing but drums, which was similar to Gabrielle's fights with the stubborn samurai in FIN. The heroine warrior is Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), and she sounds like she tore a page right out of XWP when she says to Jen, the young girl who wants to be a fighter, that the way of the warrior is hard, not knowing where you'll sleep. Another scene portrays swaggering toughs entering a tavern, eager to pick a fight with Jen. It reminded me of the many XWP scenes with Xena, in a tavern, confronting warlords and bullies demanding a showdown.

I haven't seen it yet, but the previews for "The Musketeer" show a fight sequence on ladders. Looks similar to that great scene in Callisto when Xena and Callisto duke it out on ladders.

Final thoughts-did I like the Xena finale? In my fairy tale world, it would have been nice to see X & Gab walk off into the sunset, sort of like Herc & Iolaus. But XWP has always been a darker series than Hercules, and the producers have done many things that I thought were off the wall or just plain gutsy, so I guess I'm not too surprised at the ending. It seemed significant that Gabrielle did not dump the ashes into the sea at the end, so in my imagination I envision a sequel where Xena cheats death once again and they're reunited.



From: randomthoughts
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 12:07 PM
Subject: Whoosh, the Xenaverse et al.

I just read a little of the Group Therapy Issue, and your editorial about how lonely the Xenaverse seems now. It's too bad the producers disappointed so many people, but maybe some people just need time to adjust? I noticed you have plenty of material for upcoming issues, and that looks like a good sign. Maybe if people notice how much good stuff you have available for articles, they'll come back.

Well, there's always other fandoms, or create your own. Bret Rudnick has been writing, maybe he can come up with something. (Has he been published?) Maybe I could contribute. And I think I mentioned before, Gabrielle could get her own sidekick, commune with Xena and have her own adventures.

I'm afraid I'm not particularly excited about the new Star Trek spinoff, Enterprise. Too much lack of continuity, and another WASP captain with a Vulcan and other aliens who look like humans in funny makeup and 20th-century style clothes and hair.

Is it okay to mention the awful things that happened two days ago? There's going to be a bigoted backlash, and I feel like sharing some web sites with lots more information than I have, in case you or anybody else is interested. (Although this email isn't really for posting on your site. You could excerpt some if you want. It's up to you.)

My family has been concerned with the Middle East and have friends and family there. My father is George Mendenhall, who was a professor of Near Easter Studies at the University of Michigan, and he has a new book out, Ancient Israel's Faith and History, about the development of the Bible. He's also been on many archaeological expeditions, and I was in the Middle East a few times, years ago.

I felt like sharing some web sites with perspectives the mass media don't often have in the US.

Here is the site of Ali Abunimah, a Chicago researcher who writes articles and letters regarding how the media portrays events relating to the Middle East. He includes links to many other sources of information.

A site with many articles and a discussion board

The American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee:

Another site with many articles:

I hope you don't mind my sharing those. That's all for now, and I hope you can keep Whoosh going for a long time.

Stephen Mendenhall

Forget Group Therapy: Boycott!


From: Sulla80
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2001 8:18 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Philip Tracy's motive behind his call for a boycott of any "X-Files" episodes featuring Lucy Lawless is certainly understandable. Some 63 to 65 percent of the fans thought that "A Friend in Need" was at least disappointing, if not a disgusting, misguided, premise-betraying, logically-challenged, p*ss-on-you-Xena-fans piece of crap, but his call is aimed at the wrong target. All the evidence says that Lucy Lawless is too professional an actress, too nice a person and (probably) too compliant a wife to be script-changing, fit-pitching prima donna on the set. Though at least the first two of those attributes are highly laudable in general, in the case of "XWP" their effects may have have been unfortunate. A more arrogant and demanding star who jealously guarded her character might have prevented the making of many stinker episodes. The decline of "XWP" began with "In Sickness and in Hell," the first real instance of the betrayal of Xena's character and the earliest clear indication that there was something wrong with Rob Tapert's vision of the show. If Lucy were ever to have put her foot down and demand story changes, it would have been when she was handed that turkey of a script. Ironically, the one recorded example of Lucy disagreeing with the portrayal of Xena in a script involved "The Price," which is the best episode of the series and one of the best ever aired on television from any program. Another argument against a boycott is that Lucy Lawless is the best actress currently working in television, and the producers of the "X-Files" certainly should not be penalized for hiring her. Frankly, no vengeance on the part of Xena fans is necessary--Rob Tapert will never produce as good a series as "XWP" again, but he will spend the rest of his career trying and inevitably failing. That will be his punishment for treating legions of loyal fans so disgracefully.



From: Rob Berg
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2001 11:31 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I have just read Philip Tracy's article, "Forget Group Therapy: Boycott," and I must say that I was profoundly disturbed by it. No, not by the author's dislike of the final episode (that is his perogative), but by his suggestions that all future projects by Lucy Lawless be boycotted. Mr. Tracy seems to forget that, despite how hurt he and many fans (including myself) feel, "Xena" is just a show. Lucy Lawless is an actress. Just because she was the lead actress in the show does not give her the ability to choose how the show will end. That is up to the writers. Even if Lucy thought it was the worst idea in the world, her job is to enact the written script as well as she can. And I believe she did an admirable job, with the material given.

A suggestion to boycott the episodes of "The X-Files" that Lucy Lawless is in, and to thus "drive those ratings down a few points...[so that] Lawless will not be offered future roles in the series" is not just misguided...it's malicious. To deny an actress the ability to succeed in a new job because you are bitter about a previous role is attacking the woman's very way of life. I don't understand how someone can honestly belive that someone deserves to never be successful again because they angered you once, especially in this case, when it was not in Lucy's control in the first place. That would be like getting a waiter fired, because the cook burned your meal.

What Mr. Tracy is suggesting is an attack on a woman due to the actions of the fictional character she portrays. I would urge everyone reading this not to follow his cruel advice.

Personally, I am greatly looking forward to Ms Lawless' performance on "The X-Files." She has proven herself to be a brilliant actress both on "Xena," for the past six years, and in the Broadway production of "Grease," which I had the pleasure of seeing on her last night. I am eagerly awaiting her future roles, and wish her all the best.

The Death of a Warrior


From: Gail
Subject: wow
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 14:45:39 -0400

Thank you for what you wrote on the Whoosh site. That was just amazing. I felt like you'd read my mind, only you were much smarter and more articulate than I could be. I especially liked what you said about how little girls can be superheores now, too, at Halloween and in their aspirations. I'm ten years older than you are and only had Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman for my own social construction; consequently, I used to be (maybe still am, a little) jealous of girls/women who oculd take on Xena (and Buffy) as models for their Selves.

Anyway, I was so sick--as was my best friend--of the "fans" who didn't like/understand the ending, or, as you point out, the whole arc of those characters, so I really appreciate your insightful and loving contribution to the dialogue.


A Clue In Need


From: Val Foster
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2001 5:22 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I would like to express some follow-up thoughts to my article and the other wonderful articles of the August Whoosh! Issue that postulated similar reactions.

This is snipped from online Variety:

Diller shops and creates a new U. (Barry Diller's takeover of USA Networks)
Author/s: Jenny Hontz
Issue: Oct 27, 1997

HOLLYWOOD Two weeks ago, Barry Diller sat atop a group of second-tier TV stations and a cable channel that hawks chintzy trinkets to homebodies.

But the storied media mogul catapulted back into the limelight last week, erecting a new TV powerhouse virtually overnight in what amounted to a takeover of Universal's TV crown jewels.

USA Networks

The new company, called USA Networks, will meld the production and distribution capabilities of the Universal TV Group and the USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel cable nets with Home Shopping Network's Silver King station group and Home Shopping Network cabler.

Here are the details:

* Universal TV's domestic syndication and network production divisions are moving to USA Networks, but all international production and distribution will remain at U, as will animation and the Universal TV library.

Now that Universal Studios has sold control of its TV assets to Diller, U will no longer have automatic access to new TV franchises. If a hit like "Xena: Warrior Princess" were created by Diller's company, there's no guarantee that Universal would be able to make a thematically related movie or theme park ride.


Here are my thoughts: I don't believe that Rob Tapert's decision with the Friend In Need ending had anything to do with creative differences with Barry Diller, per se. Tapert didn't want mogul Diller to profit from any potential future XWP endeavors (i.e., a non-RenPic's production of a XWP movie) without his (Tapert's) input. It was Studios USA's decision to cancel XWP after the sixth season, not RenPics. It has been brought to my attention that Tapert and Co. really wanted a seventh season, although both his wife and Renee O'Connor weren't that enthusiastic. So, since a seventh season wasn't going to happen, RenPics at least wanted the last word as to what would happen to the XWP franchise (which is now owned by Barry Diller) after it was no longer in RenPics' control. Thus the dead, dead, permanently dead Xena that we got in Friend In Need. Sure, Diller could come along in a few years and do a XWP movie like so many other studios have done with has-been TV shows, but the interest in resurrecting a character who was killed off so violently and permanently in the finale would be a much harder sell than what was done to put films like Charlie's Angels, Mission Impossible and The Brady Bunch Movie on the big screen. Tapert knew that. He got his last word. He destroyed the franchise.

Call it what you will, Friend In Need was strictly a politically motivated business maneuver. Most of the fans (the ones who feel betrayed) were just screwed in the process. That's personally why I'm p*ss*d off.

September 11, 2001


From: Jonathan Law
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2001 5:04 AM
Subject: Deepest Sympathies and Condolences

I want to offer my condolences and deepest sympathies to all United States citizens everywhere; especially those who have been caught up in the New York and Washington D.C. atrocities. Has any member of the Whoosh team suffered in some way from that dreadful day? Have any contributing authors?

I pray to God that no one has but if any one from Whoosh is a victim of Tuesday's terror, my prayers and thoughts are with them and their families.

Deepest Sympathies,

Editor Kym Taborn responds:
Thank you for your concern. To my knowledge, none of the Whoosh staff has been physically harmed by this tragedy, other than smoke inhalation and exposure. Many on our staff and contributors live in Manhattan, Washington D.C., or its environs and were touched deeply. Most of them have volunteered to help rebuild the city and help those who were affected more critically. It was scary for a while but we have touched base or have gotten reports from most of our friends. WHOOSH has had over 5000 contributors so I have not been able to track them all down, but I have not heard of any. If I do, I will get the word out.


From: Nora
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 11:12 PM
Subject: Message from Nora in New York City

To all the Xena fans out there,

I was in Washington, DC at the Pentagon on Tuesday, September 11th. I was there as part of an Army Reserve group that were receiving debriefing sessions due to our short-term status as reservists. Without going into too much detail, I am an officer reservist and part of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (bomb squad) Support Team. All I can say is that my guardian angel must have been sitting next to me on that day because we had moved from one training room in the section near where the plane crashed to another on the other side of the building. The noise and sensation of the impact is something I will never forget and cannot bring myself to relive even in my mind. We were immediately put to work. We worked with the Pentagon EOD group and representatives of their terrorist task force in securing the site and then spent the next day and a half attempting to understand the status of any potential explosive or chemical reactions that could be present. After only a few hours sleep over those two days and because we were only a handful of Top Secret Clearance qualified EOD officers near NYC, we were put on a military transport plane to New Jersey in order to interact with another military and terrorist task force in New York City.

The work in NYC has been nothing less than overwhelming. The pictures and video that is being shown on TV cannot do justice to what we have seen here and the devastation that has taken place. We have been working almost around the clock walking the perimeter and occasionally making group sweeps of the area for potential explosive situations that can come out of this type of impact. The dust, ash, and smoke only make the work that much more difficult. We cannot go very long without facemasks and initially we had to have access to an oxygen tank if we were to be in the area for more than five minutes. Twice we have had to respond to a situation that required full bomb padding and that was scary because you do not know what you're walking into. The work being done by our firefighters, paramedics, and volunteers is even more difficult. I ask for your prayers for the work that has been done and for the work that will be done in the future by these people.

I am sending you all this message because if my gut and instinct is correct, and I know the level of compassion that exists within the Xena community, there are probably efforts being put together by many of you to help in this time of awesome need. It is EXTREMELY important that you know that the need is simple for those working here on site. We are in need of socks, T-shirts, and basic toiletries for example. It is my understanding that blood donations are at a max and so the requests are for donations to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army. If any of you made blood donations I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone here, but now any monetary donations made to these organizations will ensure that the basic essentials will be made available to anyone working here. I have also been informed today that there is also a fund set up to assist the families of the firefighters and police officers who lost their lives. I do not know much more about that effort but if anyone can find out more information that would also be another way to help.

We will probably be here another week or so and then will be relieved by another group of reservists from throughout the country. I can hardly wait to get home to see and touch my family and friends and begin our work there. A two-day trip has turned into a journey into hell and everyday is a struggle in attempting to find some semblance of humanity in what has happened. But we know there will be none. We hug a lot and cry a lot and between that and little sleep we somehow make it through but I feel helpless most of the time because I wish I could do so much more. Today we had an opportunity to get a church service on site and that was probably the first time we had stopped to reflect and find some comfort. Afterwards, I took a few quick minutes to write this because it helped me. One of the things that has kept me going during particularly tough times has been the great memories of my recent trip to the Cherry Hill Con. It was truly a time of laughter, friends, new and old, love and giving. I'll always be grateful that I attended because it was timely. The overall sense of affection, acceptance, compassion, and bond that I felt there is the same spirit that will carry us all as sisters and brothers through this horrific time.

Again, thanks for getting the message of need to the fans. They do not have to get this whole message, just the efforts that are needed. My love to you all!

Pray for Peace,
Nora Manzanares
548th EODCC Army Reserve Unit
Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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