Whoosh! Issue 49 - October 2000

THE JOXER FAN FICTION WRITER:
THE XENAVERSE'S NOT SO SECRET SOCIETY

By Janet Elizabeth Swainston
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
1790 words



The Joxer Fan Fic Writer (01-03)
R-E-S-P-E-C-T (04-09)
The Many Faces of Joxer (10-13)
"Do You Validate Parking?" (14-16)
The Writing on the Wall (17)
Notes
Biography



The Joxer Fan Fiction Writer: The XenaVerse's Not So Secret Society




The Joxer Fan Fiction Writer

Ted Raimi reads what he thought was his contract, but instead is simply a recipe for lintel soup.

Fan Fiction was Fan Fact for Joxer.


[1] Out there in cyber space are many tastes, points of view, likes, dislikes, and varied perspectives that make up the fan base of Xena: Warrior Princess. That is the beauty of freedom of expression. Within this fan base are many different groups composed of these different individuals. A vast majority are those who see a romantic relationship between the main characters of the show. But there is a smaller and much maligned minority whose voice is only heard in frustration.

[2] This small but feisty group of people is comprised of the fans and the fan fiction writers of the pro-Joxer the Mighty movement. They are sometimes hard to find and are mostly treated with derision by the main online fan base, but they are out there. Some of them are quite vocal. Others tend to hide, either because of the sheer numbers of those who maintain the more popular view, or in order to avoid ridicule and sneering disdain.

[3] Amongst these Joxer fans is a pool of writers who excel at their art as greatly as subtext writers. Yet they are pushed aside, ridiculed, ignored, or abused because they write pro-Joxer fiction. These writers are discriminated against even though they share the same love of the show and its characters. It is merely their point of view that differs.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T

[4] What is it about Joxer that inspires these folk to write short stories, folk songs, poems, and epic novels that are never seen? Is it the Everyman quality that they see in him? Is it his hidden charm or is it a desire to rectify the wrongs done to a character with hidden value? Why do the Joxer fans see his good qualities and yet TPTB (the Powers That Be) and the subtext fans do not?

[5] When hunting for the elusive Joxer fan fiction writer, you must have a starting point. Typing "Joxer" into your favorite search engine or the search engine of one of the numerous mailing list hosts is one way [Note 01]. You will find many lists that are dedicated to Joxer and the fiction about him. Many Joxer fan fiction writers lurk there because they can express themselves freely, and they do, often. Their well-written and well-thought-out pro-Joxer fiction is plentiful.

[6] The views of Joxer are myriad and as varied as the views of the Xena/Gabrielle dynamic. In many stories, Joxer is paired with the intrepid Gabrielle. In others, he is involved with Meg, the tavern wench. In still others, he is paired with Xena. Sometimes he finds love with original characters. This is only his romantic side. These wonderfully prolific writers put Joxer in every situation they can.

[7] Joxer fan fiction writers utilize their extensive talents to show the readers that the Joxer they know is hidden beneath the superficial and disposable character created by TPTB. They bring out his human qualities, show his faults, and yet find reasons for them. They make him aware of his inadequacies and give him the strength to improve himself. They give purpose and meaning to his life, and show that he is a living, breathing, three-dimensional character. He lives, loves, laughs, and strives to be the best that he can be. They explain his past mistakes and his sometimes boorish behavior. They define the richness that is Joxer.

[8] Where do you find Joxer fiction besides on these lists or bulletin boards? Most Joxer fan fiction writers have their own websites, but there are a few archives that host more than just one writer's work [Note 02].

[9] Aside from the mailing lists and the few websites devoted to Joxer fiction, there is very little exposure for the Joxer fan fiction writer. Most other Xena sites are either extremely pro- subtext, and do not publish Joxer fiction, as is their right. And most websites that accept general fiction ignore any pro-Joxer submissions. Therefore, many talented bards are left to wither on the fringes, merely because of their love of the outsider.


The Many Faces of Joxer

After he's told his services are no longer necessary, Ted Raimi beats the stuffing out of Rob Tapert

Joxer displays surprising skills in FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS.


[10] What inspires the Joxer fan fiction writer? Many things. Mostly, as with most writers, the authors of this fiction project a part of themselves into the minds and hearts of their protagonist. Most Joxer fans see a little of themselves in the character and desire to improve on it, much as each of us strives to improve ourselves. They look at the situations that Joxer has been in or find some other common denominator that they wish to explore and step off from there. They find new things to love about him. They give voice to the passions and perils within themselves. Joxer is given a voice that is as rich and filled with humanity as Xena and Gabrielle. All parts of Joxer are examined: his past, his youth, his family interactions, his desires, his hopes, and his dreams. Everything that each of us experiences is projected onto a character with which the Joxer fan fiction writer feels a kinship.

[11] In the television world of Xena, Joxer is treated with disdain. He is a buffoon used for kicking around. He is the object of scorn and ridicule, expresses infantile behavior that would shame a 12-year-old, and he is abused physically and disregarded as if he was not even human. Within the online Xena fan base, he is treated much the same. The vitriol that is expressed against him on an almost daily basis is violent, cruel, and frightening. Only his true fans treat him with respect.

[12] Within the confines of the Joxer fan fiction writers' imagination, he is a wonderful person. He has many adventures, some of which include Xena and Gabrielle, and others that do not. In many cases, he is awarded the respect, if not the love, of the sometimes vicious Gabrielle. Joxer gets to have fun and to express the same kinds of moments that we were allowed to see him express in the past season. Season Five was a Joxer fan's dream come true, but this is only a pale reflection of his shining glory in Joxer fan fiction.

[13] The biggest dilemma that faces the Joxer fan fiction writer is what to do now that he is gone from the Xenaverse proper. Do they bring him back to life in some miraculous Xena YAXI (yet another Xena inconsistency) or forget everything from LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE (109/519) [Note 03] onwards? Do they just throw out everything that came after a specific season of their choice or try to repair the damage? These are the tough decisions that the Joxer fan fiction writer faces every time s/he sits down to write a story.


"Do You Validate Parking?"

[14] Where do Joxer fan fiction writers, Joxer fans, and the fan fiction fans find validation? They must find it from their peers: the Joxer fans, and fan fiction fans. The groups that support Joxer and the fan fiction about him are the only people who will appreciate these writers. Their considerable talents are fostered only in these quiet corners and hiding places. The mainstream subtext fans refuse to see the talents of these much-maligned authors due only to their dislike of the subject matter.

[15] How important is it to them to express themselves through the use of their favorite character and receive feedback for their work? As any writer knows, it is not just the act of expression that fulfills, satisfies, and validates us, but also hearing positive and constructive feedback. This feedback must be illuminating and specific. General slurs do nothing to encourage the fledgling writer. Joxer fan fiction writers are just as in need of this positive reinforcement as others. Who knows, someday one of them may write a non-fan fiction book and make the bestseller list. It may be a book that entertains and enthralls all readers. Should they be denied this right of expression? Should they be oppressed solely because they are not subtexters?

[16] There are many non-Joxer, anti-Joxer, and pro-subtext fans in the Xenaverse. Some of these fans are unsympathetic to the Joxer fan fiction writer. Their minds are closed to the talents that these individuals possess. The blinders of discrimination and hate cover the normally rational and caring vision of their hearts. These many individuals are the reason that Joxer fan fiction writers receive little exposure and respect.


The Writing on the Wall

Gabrielle and Xena are unhappy at being publicly 'outed' by Joxer.

Much to the dismay of Gabrielle and Xena, Joxer has a cunning plan in BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.


[17] Who cares about the Joxer fan fiction writer? Who cares that Joxer is discarded like a used tissue? Who cares that his fans are treated with abuse and mistreatment? Who cares if the Joxer fan, or fan fiction writer, whines and complains about their plight? Simply put, they do, and so should any other writer or person who has experienced discrimination and disrespect. Joxer fan fiction gives Joxer fans a voice, and they should be respected for their views. They should be given an opportunity to show everyone what good writers there are in Joxer fandom. The Joxer fan fiction writer could be the poster child for any group or individual who has suffered oppression of any kind. The Joxer fan fiction writer could be you!


Notes

Note 01:
Many Joxer fan and fan fiction lists can be found at YahooGroups: http://www.yahoogroups.com/
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Note 02:
Three Joxer fan fiction archives can be found at:

The Joxerite Fan Fiction Guild

The Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society

The New Bard Library

Return to article

Note 03:
This episode aired in the U.S.A. April 24, 2000.
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Biography

Janet Elizabeth Swainston Janet Elizabeth Swainston
Janet Elizabeth Swainston is an aspiring screenwriter and is working towards this goal. Currently, she is in the process of seeking a literary agent for her work. Janet also runs her own self-designed website, which includes Joxer fan fiction and more, called The New Bard Library (http://www.crosswinds.net/~kateaofpompeii)
Favorite episode: KINDRED SPIRITS (107/517); LYRE LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510); FALLEN ANGEL (91/501); BITTER SUITE (58/312), etc., etc., etc. In other words, if Joxer was there I liked it!
Favorite line: Joxer: "I'm going to take them home." FALLEN ANGEL (91/501)
First episode seen: KEY TO THE KINGDOM (78/410)
Least favorite episode: MOTHERHOOD (112/522) for the obvious reasons of Joxer being dead and coming back as an embarrassing ghost. The poor guy can't even catch a break in death!

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