Whoosh! Issue 50 - November 2000

WHOOSH Contributors Ponder Fandom
Page 2

Fandom by Mike Buckley
My Memoir by Roger A. Duarte
How XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS Changed My Life by J. R. Rasmussen
How XENA Fandom Has Affected My Life by Jules Warrick

By Mike Buckley
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
1365 words

Fandom (01-03)
The Joxer War (04-07)
Older and Wiser (08-10)
Has Fandom Changed Me? (11-14)
We Did a H*ll of a Job (15-16)



Scaled down cons when the series is over

Fans get a nod in THE PLAYS THE THING.

[01] Sometimes fandom is a wonderful thing. Other times, it is as if Hell broke through the surface of the earth to engulf you. It is the same for STAR TREK fans, BABYLON 5 fans, or DOCTOR WHO fans; for Science Fiction comics, movies, or books. It is true for XENA fans as well.

[02] My association with XENA fandom has been an intermittent one. I heard about the show from various people who had been watching it all along, and I finally had a chance to watch some episodes. While I had some difficulty adjusting to the, ummm, fast and loose historical events, I was entertained.

[03] Then I read some of the fan fiction, and it was quite good. Yes, there has been a huge amount written, online and elsewhere. Fandom, like it did for STAR TREK so many years ago, and several times since, took over. We should all get free advertising like this.

The Joxer War

[04] However, this was at a time when there were several epic flame wars waged, under the general heading of the "Joxer Wars". And I noticed something. If one of a few popular people online disagreed with you, or disliked you, everyone went along with them, regardless of the "reason" or subject at hand.

[05] Some of these people were unthinkably cruel. Things were said by some and accepted by others that were not only morally ambiguous at best, but ran totally contrary to the summation of what was supposed to be the overall "message" of the show. And what was this message? "Be nice" or, perhaps, even an evil warlord can change for the better, if people stop howling for blood long enough to notice.

[06] At that point, disapointed, I drifted away from XENA fandom. Not because people had failed to live up to high ideals, but that, faced with a chance to put those ideals into practice, they did not make the slightest effort to do so. Due to the overwhelming negativity online, I even stopped watching the show.

[07] More recently, other people have sent me XENA-related fan fiction. Interested, I read them and began watching the show again, just in time to see a wizened Joxer die. Guess someone won the war.

Older and Wiser

[08] But this time around, I have been smarter. I have focused on people who are positive. Not relentlessly so, since we all have aspects we do not like in any show, but an overall positiveness. These people were more interested in what was good, than in what they did not like, and none of these people wanted anything to do with the overwheening egos of people so close-minded their capacity for human understanding was clearly dead.

[09] Since I was a kid, fandom was a special place where other people who liked the same things I did hung out and got to talk, or write, about them at length. Even people who did not otherwise get along found a common bond in comics, STAR TREK, or the Dragonriders of Pern. Nowadays, the subjects of fandom have grown and changed, as have the fans.

[10] But I like to think that fandom itself, from the "geek" STAR TREK fans who grew up to work at NASA, to the business people who make sure their two weeks of vacation a year coincide with the nearest convention, has not changed all that much.

Has Fandom Changed Me?

[11] If I had been asked a while back how XENA fandom had changed me, I would likely have snarled a response like "fizzlesloop", and turned to more productive topics. But I have learned to see the value of tolerance and patience. I understand that ideals are great, but if they are not put into practice in daily life, they become "empty words and rhetoric" to quote someone who epitomized that particular pitfall.

[12] I have also come to realize that I like the concept of fandom: people coming together and sharing their likes (and occasionally, dislikes) far too much to abandon them to a few miscreants who have lost the meaning of ideals they purportedly espouse. I truly hope those people have since learned the error of their ways, and learn that light is a h*ll of a lot better than darkness, and tolerance beats the h*ll out of beating the h*ll out of someone. Metaphorically, or otherwise.

[13] Perhaps what you have just read sounds negative. Perhaps, in a few cases, familiar. But I am not taking time at 1:30am to write something about a subject I do not like, or do not care about. I am writing because despite times of difficulty, I believe in a more positive way of living.

[14] I am writing because overall, I genuinely like XENA, even if I do not always agree with or understand it. The same holds true for XENA fandom. I do not always agree, or understand, but overall, fandom is cool.

We Did a H*ll of a Job

[15] So to all the fans, those I have agreed with, disagreed with, and everything in between, take a minute and look around, at least metaphorically, and enjoy the view of a world you have enriched. We did a h*ll of a job, didn't we?

[16] I close with a quote from "Story of a Life", by Harry Chapin, which sounds remarkably like what a Certain Bard might have written.

"Now sometimes words can serve me well,
sometimes words can go to H*ll
For all that they do.

For every dream that took me high,
there's been a dream that passed me by,
I know it's so true.

And I can see it clear out to the end,
I'll whisper to her now, again,
Because she shared my life.

For more than all the ghosts of glory,
she makes up the story--
She's the only story of my life."


Mike Buckley, "Serious Or Silly: What Show Are We Watching, And Why?" WHOOSH #30 (March 1999)


Mike Buckley Mike Buckley
Mike is a longtime freelance comics writer (who is, in fact, supposed to be doing that instead of this, but writers are notorious for procrastination). He's lived all over the place (there doesn't seem to be a place on the Eastern Seaboard he hasn't at least visited), but is currently in Florida with the support of two cats (or is that the other way around?), and all the chocolate he can get. He's an avid reader of all kinds of books especially SF and mystery. He's one of the few people he knows who likes STAR TREK as well as BABYLON 5. He's known to be an occasional royal pain in the b*tt; however, his friends and family have come to expect that. He's still somewhat confused by XENA, and its attendant mystiques, but he's slowly figuring out who's doing what.

Currently, he's the co-writer of "Mike Deodato's Jade Warriors" forthcoming from Avatar Press, developing projects for various companies, and trying real hard not to spend too much time writing fanfic, which he began writing back when there were still mimeograph machines. He will likely fail, as there are too many good ideas to write about out there (unless, of course, he gets more paying work, in which case, he'll quit his day job, and have more time to write). As you read this, he's probably eating chocolate again. Or feeding the cats.
Favorite episode:WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP (30/206)
Favorite line:Gabrielle: "Your flying parchment is stuck in a tree." A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)
First episode seen:BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (48/302). I love a good time travel story, and watching Xena get more and more frustrated was priceless.
Least favorite episode:FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (40/216). It just didn't work for me. No particular like or dislike, it just didn't send me.

By Roger A. Duarte
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
749 words

My Exodus from Fandom (01-03)
Looking Back (04-05)


My Exodus from Fandom

Inspired by the Farrah Fawcett 1970's look

Gabrielle in QUESTly garb.

[01] I have not been very involved in XENA fandom for what seems like years now. While the third season started my exodus from the show, it was not the only reason for it.

[02] As with all things in life, people change, and things that seemed important in one timeframe are rendered useless in another. I still watch XENA every week just for Renee O'Connor (ROC). That is, I tape it every week and watch 3 or 4 episodes at a time a month or so after they have aired. I am no longer in any mailing lists, and in fact auctioned off all my ROC/Gabrielle memorabilia on my website. I have not updated the website for months, and do not intend to. I plan to leave it there as a reference for ROC fans to use, as there are so few in depth ones to begin with.

[03] I am, at the age of 30, on the verge of having my first child. The deadline for this submission is the due date, but Katelyn Abby was born by c-section on Aug 12th, weighing 8lbs, 3oz and 22 inches long. I love my job (Network Administrator for a small computer company in Massachusetts), hate the commute, hope my child is healthy, and that this fall will bring an end to the stranglehold that politically correct thought has had on America for a decade now. I am a say it as I mean it kind of person, matter-of-fact and straight to the point. I despise double talk.

Looking Back

[04] Looking back, I am not saddened that I was involved in XENA fandom; it was a growing experience. Nor am I sorry for the things I did, said and wrote during those few years. What troubles me is that TPTB (the powers that be) or TIIC (the idiots in charge) took something revolutionary and unique, and turned it into just another mainstream hack in the everlasting pursuit of the almighty dollar.

[05] XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS could have been something more than it has become, but we will never know what. All I can do is look back on what was and say, "it was a nice trip while it lasted".


Roger A. Duarte, "Gabrielle and Pacifism" WHOOSH #21 (June 1998)


Roger A. Duarte Roger A. Duarte
aka RagnaROC
I was born in Providence, RI in 1970 and have lived in the New Bedford, Massachusetts, area most of my life. I graduated with honors from high school and entered the US Air Force at the age of 17 (1987-1992) as an Electronic Warfare Technician (among other duties). A Gulf War veteran who was stationed in England for four years, I came home after being honorably discharged and decided to further my education. I worked the overnight shift and multiple jobs for 60+ hours a week to put myself through a full-time course load (no, Uncle Sam didn't pay for it)! In 1997 I graduated cum laude from Bridgewater State College with a BA in Sociology (concentrating in Criminology) and a minor in Political Science. My previously published works include articles in Anime U.K. magazine and on The ROCzone!, my website dedicated to Renee O'Connor. After a brief tenure working as an undercover asset protection investigator for a private firm, I underwent retraining and have been the Network Administrator for a small computer company her ein Massachusetts for nearly two years. I still, someday, hope to move to New Hampshire for good (though it'll have to wait with the birth of my daughter adding things into the mix). I currently reside in Massachusetts with my wife of 37 months, Sarah (who hates XWP, especially Gabrielle/Renee!), her four cats my two ferrets, and our first child, Katelyn Abby. My interests include firearms, politics, computers Japanese animation, science fiction/fantasy, reading, Outback Steakhouse, Foster's Beer, and The Olive Garden, driving fast, rock n' roll/heavy metal music (no, I'm not into alternative!), and, still to some degree, XWP (specifically Renee/Gabrielle!)
Favorite episode:THE QUEST (37/213)
Favorite line:Talmadeus (about Gabrielle): "I like her spirit." THE GREATER GOOD (21/121)
First episode seen:THE WARRIOR PRINCESS (H09/109)
Least favorite episode:Too hard to pick between all the Joxer and/or slapstick comedy episodes.

By J. R. Rasmussen
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
349 words

The Way It Is (01-03)


The Way It Is

Just before she throws them, Xena realises too late the pointy ends go outward

Xena, Warrior Woman.

[01] My best friend, Linda Dennis, saw, at a STAR TREK convention, a Xena standup wearing a "I Killed Kenny" cap. Linda, who thought that was hilarious, gave me my own Xena standup, which has a motion-sensor voice box. I take the batteries out, Linda puts them back in, and Xena tries to give me a heart attack.

[02] When the batteries are removed, I see her out of the corner of my eye, standing silently in the shadows in the spare bedroom, and I jump out of my skin, because I think I am home alone. When the batteries are in, and I do not know it, I walk past the bedroom, only to hear a menacing voice say, "You don't wanna make me mad, do you?" and I jump out of my skin.

[03] Somebody get me a sword. I must silence the Greek broad.


J. R. Rasmussen, "Once and Future Warrior: Parallels Between Colonel Kira Nerys and Xena, Warrior Princess, The" WHOOSH #34 (July 1999)

J. R. Rasmussen, "Gabrielle and Timon of Athens: The Failure of Goodness" WHOOSH #28 (January 1999)


J.R. Rasmussen J.R. Rasmussen
J.R. Rasmussen: former newspaper reporter, editor, movie reviewer, television columnist; library administrator at the Reno (Nevada) Gazette-Journal. In real life, theater buff, Trekker and free-lance writer. One and only publishing success: short story in STAR TREK Strange New Worlds II, 1999.
Favorite episode:XENA SCROLLS (34/210) or whichever one I watched yesterday
Favorite line:Gabrielle to Salmoneus: "You know, you wouldn't be in here in the first place if you'd kept your hands off my tomatoes." BLACK WOLF (11/111)
First episode seen:I can't remember beyond last week and you want me to recall something from five years ago?
Least favorite episode:DEATH MASK (23/123)

By Jules Warrick
50th Issue Project
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
662 words

What It Has Meant for Me (01-05)


What It Has Meant for Me

Xena is aksed to leave the Amazons after they disover she is over the max height requirement

Amazons All.

[01] Since that fateful day in May 1996, when I watched my first full episode of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (XWP), my life has changed dramatically. To be fair, the real changes occurred in late 1996, after my partner and I got our first Internet access computer. At the urging of a friend and fellow fan, we joined a couple of mailing lists, one of which was Xenaverse. The one I consider being my 'main' mailing list, where I am most active rather than lurking, is GABSClan. It is from this list that I have met the most people and have formed lasting friendships.

[02] This is one of the ways that the XENA fandom has changed me. I am basically a shy person, but because of the friendships I have made online, and subsequently in real life, I have become more outgoing. I have certainly traveled much more in the last 3 years than I have ever before in my life! Since my first Xenafest in May 1997 in Washington, DC, to the most recent Orlando Con in 2000, I have been to 5 conventions and have traveled to see friends I have met through XWP a few other times. The conventions and fests themselves become just a backdrop when it comes to meeting up with friends, although I consider myself quite lucky to have made it to the 1997 San Francisco Con to see Renee O'Connor and Michael Hurst, with the extra bonus of getting their autographs.

[03] I have seen people fall in love through this fandom. People who connected on many other, deeper levels because of the initial passion about a TV show! My friends supported me when my partner ended our relationship and celebrate with me as we rediscover our love.

[04] The strength and compassion of Xena and Gabrielle have been an inspiration in my life. They have kept my imagination active and creative, even though I have only shared my fanfiction writing with a few friends, and their commitment to the greater good encourages me to do the same.

[05] I am grateful to the creators of this show and to those with mailing lists and websites for leading me to friendships that will last beyond the duration of the series. I hope that the fandom will continue to bring people together, whether they have been fans from the first episode or discover the Warrior Princess in the sixth season.


Jules Warrick, "Amazons Of HOOVES AND HARLOTS, The" WHOOSH #29 (February 1999)

"On the road" report from Minneapolis convention 1998


Jules Warrick Jules Warrick
Jules Warrick (aka JettX) is a mid-30s lesbian Xenite living in Jayhawk country Kansas where she cheers on the women's basketball team and works at the University's main library, which is a dream come true. When not obsessing about Xena, she watches 'The X-Files' and 'Voyager' and videotapes of 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'. Most of the time she can be found sitting in front of her computer reading fan fiction, cruising web sites or reading mail from the fan lists to which she is subscribed. She also worships Joan Jett, her first leather-clad woman warrior.
Favorite episode:HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110) and THE QUEST (37/213), THE DEBT (both parts) and ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE (both parts)
Favorite line:Xena: "It's the battles you choose and the people you protect". HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110); (words to live by) Gabrielle: "No, they all suck" LYRE LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (it's all in the delivery)
First episode seen:(in full) CALLISTO (22/122)
Least favorite episode:MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (I can barely even type the title!

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