Whoosh! Issue 55 - April 2001

By Janet Elizabeth Swainston
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
1402 words

The Neglected Fan (01-03)
We are Family (04-08)
A Fandom Divided (09-12)
Fan Hell (13-14)
A Fandom of Our Own (15-16)

Joxer Fan: A Fandom of Our Own

The Neglected Fan

Well if you not Sheena... Where Sheena?
Joxer has been in a few jungles himself.

[1] Deep in the jungles of the online Xenaverse is a wily creature known as the Joxer fan. Much like an endangered species, these fans lurk around the edges of sight, only rarely coming into view when they feel threatened. It has always been such for the fans of Joxer the Mighty! There are few Xena: Warrior Princess fan sites dedicated to Joxer appreciation, at least few in comparison with the thousands that praise subtext or portray Joxer with contempt.

[2] It all began late in the first season when Joxer first appeared in CALLISTO (22/122)[Note 01]]. From that moment on, a fandom was born, built on the love felt for the forgotten hero who was to be used, abused, and finally ignominiously dismissed.

[3] In truth, Joxer fans receive the same treatment as Joxer. If it were not for fan sites and fiction created by the Mighty One's fans, these loyal folk would have no home. Because Joxer fans are often treated with disdain, disgust, or derision by the rest of the Xena fandom, they have created their own little niche, despite being disregarded by both TPTB (the powers that be) and the rest of Xena fandom.

We Are Family

Early Greek Chiropracty
''Group Hug!''

[4] Those who belong to the Joxer fan community know that the group acts as a close-knit family. We support each other in our love of this much-maligned character, and we are fiercely loyal to our community as a whole. We may disagree on our views of his background, his future, his love life, or any other topic, but we agree on the fact that we love him and that he is misunderstood.

[6] Our Joxer family is worldwide, stretching from Australia to Russia, and we try to congregate at cons as much as possible. We show up wearing our badges, tee shirts, and other memorabilia in support of Joxer and each other.

[7] The most famous portion of our family is probably the Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society (GJRS)[Note 02]. They even have business cards listing the web site address and the sister mailing list. The GJRS believes that Joxer and Gabrielle belong together romantically, body and soul. Though many GJRSers disagree on when the dynamic started, most feel that Joxer's feelings for the Bard of Poteidaia became true love in A COMEDY OF EROS (46/222)[Note 03].

[8] The international family of Joxer fans displays a fierce pride in their love of Joxer and bands together in times of trouble. This spawned an offshoot society called The Joxer Shields, who defend Joxer and his followers wherever they go. The birth of this society came during the Joxer wars of 1997 on the Internet newsgroup ATX (alt.tv.xena). One of the worst periods in Joxer fan history, the abuse of both Joxer and his fans rose to warlike proportions. This caused one of the major rifts in the Xena fandom that left Joxer fans feeling ostracized from the whole.

A Fandom Divided

[9] Within the Xena online community and the greater offline fandom at large, there seem to be many rifts and wars between factions. Despite all this, the Joxer fandom unites to defend their borders, while trying to bring peace to Xena fandom as a whole.

[10] This attempt at peacemaking does not always work. When a Joxer fan enters the fray to either bring a sense of reason to a heated and often nasty debate, or to defend Joxer from any bashing going on, the entire crowd turns on the Joxer fan, all the while still sniping at each other. The only thing the anti-Joxer fandom seems to agree on is that Joxer should die. It would seem that TPTB listened, as they are doing now with Season 6, by giving in to the anti-Joxerite pressures.

[11] This division in the fandom, be it between different subtext factions or Joxer fans and everyone else, has wrought more harm than good. While differences are essential and create an enlivened community, they can also tear the fandom apart and cause fan wars.

[12] The many wars that have been fought online and off between subtext fans, non-subtext fans, and Joxer fans, have only caused animosity that Joxer fans want stopped. For the sake of the show and all its fans, it would be better if we could agree to disagree, and respect each other's different likes and points of view, instead of flaming, stalking, and displaying generally troll-like[Note 04] behavior. Peaceful co-existence seems out of reach in the current atmosphere amongst the fans.

Fan Hell

[13] What is it that makes small-minded people attack the subtext fans? Moreover, why do some subtext fans retaliate on anyone who does not have the same perspective on the show? Why must Joxer fans receive such a vitriolic outpouring from the larger and predominant subtext community? Much blame is thrown around, but the author has never seen a true, pro-Joxer fan purposely set out to offend a non-Joxer fan, or antagonize anyone with unprovoked slurs, insults, or name calling. The Joxer fan does NOT go out of his/her way to find and provoke the non-Joxer fan.

[14] However, the author has been attacked by anti-Joxerites just because of the contents in an e-mail signature line, and changed the sig to ward off future attacks. Yet, why should anyone have to worry about his or her signature line? Because, to borrow a line from a famous comedian[Note 05], the Joxer fans "don't get no respect". Because Joxer fans are the minority, they are left to wallow in the seventh level of fan hell, enduring anything that is flung their way.

A Fandom of Our Own

Joxer moves the Gabrielle Standee into position.
Gabrielle is a big-time Joxer fan in FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS.

[15] Despite these obstacles, or perhaps because of them, the Joxer fans have made a place where they can be respected, accepted, and admired. In their own little havens, they have slowly built up their own fandom, where they can enjoy their favorite character and his exploits. They did not allow themselves to be beaten out of a fan base by a louder and rowdier majority. They have succeeded in making a home of their very own.

[16] Therefore, if you are not a Joxer fan and you happen to come across one who is, do not bother them, and they will not you. Respect the object of the group's admiration and say nothing. Do not bash Joxer or his fans by making some snide double entendre. Do not mention Joxer at all. If you do not like him, do not talk about him. If the Joxer fan wants to talk about him, let him/her and say nothing unless you want to say, "That's a very interesting point of view. I've never heard it said quite that way before", and then move on. Let the Joxer fans have their little piece of fandom.


Note 01:
This episode originally aired in the USA on May 13, 1996.

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Note 02:
The Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society

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Note 03:
This episode originally aired in the USA on May 12, 1997.

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Note 04:
The forum/email troll is defined as a creature that hides within the familiar landscape of an email list or bulletin board forum to purposely create conflict by insults, slurs, inflammatory remarks, and personal attacks.

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Note 05:
Rodney Dangerfield has used this particular line in his comedy act, in movies, and in personal appearances or endorsements.

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Janet Elizabeth Swainston, "Subtext or Subconscious" WHOOSH #42 (March 2000)

Janet Elizabeth Swainston, "The Joxer Fan Fiction Writer: The Xenaverse's Not So Secret Society" WHOOSH #49 (October 2000)

Janet Elizabeth Swainston, "The Outsider: Confessions of a Joxer Fan" WHOOSH #50 (November 2000)


Janet Elizabeth Swainston Janet Elizabeth Swainston
Janet Elizabeth Swainston is an aspiring screenwriter and publishes her own and other's Joxer fan fiction on her own web site, The New Bard Library http://www.crosswinds.net/~kateaofpompeii
Favorite episode: KINDRED SPIRITS (107/517)
Favorite line: Joxer: "I love you, I'm in love with you!" CHAKRAM (92/502)
First episode seen:KEY TO THE KINGDOM (78/410)
Least favorite episode:MOTHERHOOD (112/522)

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