|Xenites Talk Back: Argumentative Points
the subject of extremist rhetoric online and in the Xenaverse:
I've come to terms with the idea that in order to have a cultural pendulum rest in the middle, there must be voices at the extreme. To counterbalance the male-dominated society, we need extreme feminists. Personally, I tend to sit in the middle and spout equality when I'm in a room of diverse people. I used to cringe at militant remarks some angry women threw at the establishment. I still don't say them myself, but I've come to see them as a necessary means of balancing out the world. What we can nurture on the Internet is a practice ground -- a safe place to develop ideas, test opinions, and learn how to communicate them to a bigger audience than we normally set ourselves in. Men have had such resources for generations upon generations, from the smoking rooms of their private clubs to the hallowed halls of academia. It's our turn to have those same advantages.
Dr. Carolyn Bremer
Fandom vs Xenaverse Fandom: Internet Key Factor
N65 "The Xenaverse could....even exist without the Internet altogether, as the Star Trek fan communities before it." I agree that the the Xenaverse could exist without the Internet. There is no doubt about that, considering the power of the Xena and Gabrielle archetypes. However, I have always maintained that the Internet is a key factor to the rapid success of the show. It allowed a fan base to grow "very" quickly. It also allowed a very complicated social structure to develop in an unbelievably short amount of time. I truly do not believe that this could have happened this fast (and maybe not at all) without the Internet fandom. What do you think?
The unique character of men in the Xenaverse, particularly as alternative
fan fiction bards:
Also, there is a point about male participation in the Xenaverse which you have not mentioned in what I was able to see: the male altfic bards. One in particular that I've spoken (email) with expressed the wish to me that he'd thought to write under a female name so that his work might be more readily accepted - even though his stories were quite beautiful and should be accepted solely on their own merit. One of the funny things was that even he is biased against himself in a way. He also told me of reading another altfic story which he though was excellent and going back up to see who the author was only to find that it was a man. His first reaction was that the male author was trespassing into a domain which rightful belonged to the women...not in writing altfic itself, but in writing it so unreservedly and expressively romantic.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me and the rest of the Xenaverse,
the Hierarchical Social Status of Convention Seating:
"A word about the hierarchy of con seating... .I think that paying for those Gold Row seats [$80 a seat] not only signifies diehard "HCNB-ness" but in some cases, it is a way for people to try and show off their social status in the online Xenaverse."
K86 never mentioned the pro-subtext contingent that likes the Xena and Callisto as a pairing... however unlikely, they have by far the most sexual tension/energy on the show! (Ok, so that's my perspective, but what do you expect from a HCNB... complete objectivity?).
Thus far, alt.tv.xena has really made a negative impact on the way that I see the Xenaverse. The infighting on it reminds me of the brawls between Nazis and communists in the Berlin of the early 1930's.
As a Joxerite, I've been subjected to heaps of abuse only because I profess a positive outlook on the character. I kept going back and forth on emails with a Joxerphobe from ATX on why she had to be so bitingly cruel with her opinions, calling what we write "drivel" or intentionally annoying us by calling him the "Joxer-prop" and we Joxerites a "cult". I could sum up her position with, "I'm just being honest." There's just absolutely no tact anymore, but that's what happens when you get extremism in the discussion.
Fans Talk Back
K84 - K87 (The Joxer Contingents) is the part that I have the most problems with. I think that you've made a mistake by mentioning the fear of "younger heterosexual men" involved in the Joxer contingents without mentioning the reality that most in the Joxer groups are het women. You seem to overly emphasize the anti-Joxers' viewpoints without adding that we Joxerites have not only our own viewpoints, but also a vibrant and diverse Internet community of our own.
For instance, Joxer groups are not a homogeneous bastion of worship for the character. There are the simple Joxer Shields, the Gabrielle-Joxer Romantics Society (GJRS), the Joxer Enthusiasts Supporting Sapphic Subtext (JESSS), the Joxer Forces of the Xenaverse (JFX or "the state") controlled by the Revolutionary Joxerist Party (RJP or "the party"), and other such divergent groups with one similar goal, the positive promotion and defense of Joxer the Mighty.
Also, there's plenty of pro-Joxer fan fiction as well as pro-Joxer and Gabrielle romance fanfic. Many have written not just the average five-page stories, but also what could be considered novellas. Most of this Joxer fan fiction is challenging to write because one has to be true to the character, however bumbling and inept he may be, while making sure that the story puts him in a positive light. Focusing on his positive character traits, however, helps to ease this burden. In most of his stories, he's not an agile and skillful warrior like Xena but instead is a kind-hearted, loyal and brave soul who, despite his mishaps and all, manages to succeed, grow and develop a little (or a lot), and in some cases begins a relationship with the apple of his eye, Gabrielle. In other fanfics, the Xena-Gabrielle subtext remains intact while Joxer the Mighty is celebrated in all of his imperfect glory.
Besides organizations and fanfics, there are also webrings, mailing lists, and artwork that includes episode collages, sketches, and even a comic strip that rivals JT Atwood's famous "Battle On!" series. Through Joxer, there has developed a thriving pulse of online activity that fosters a strong, diverse, and exciting society that is very much a significant part of the Xenaverse.
NOTE: Please use this one instead of the previous!
Dear Doc Boese,
I'm sending you Nancy Lorenz's criticism of your thesis in convenient electronic form (the joxrhet.txt thing) along with Phil Hernandez's questions that he wanted to ask you about the essay. Just send those answers my way because I'd like to hear them too.
Brent Lothar of Libertopia; Poster Boy of Harmonious Discord General-Secretary, Revolutionary Joxerist Party http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~balliso
I'll have to reconstruct from memory...
1. The statement (may have been misquoted) that research methods that would contradict the basic assumptions made by Dr. Boese concerning revolutionary democracy would not be pursued implies to me that information contradicting her premises would be ignored, and that her thesis is therefore invalid. Could she clarify what she meant, in layman's terms, please? If she uses the word "praxis," sing the Joxer the Mighty song to her until she stops.
2. How could she make any meaningful statements concerning the so-called Joxer Wars if, as she stated, she did not examine the pro-Joxer side of the argument?
3. How could she make any statements at all describing Joxer fans if, as it appears, she did not do any research into who they are and did not interview any? And the advisory for you: Except for TRIFC there was really no *organized* Joxer fandom and only a few significant sites such as the Temple of Joxer (Dr. Boese really needs to interview the webmaster of that site, Marian Pappaceno) prior to the beginning of 1998. The GJRS, for instance, only got started this year. I don't know when Scott Langman started his page, but it couldn't have been much earlier than the fall of 1997, if that early.
Break a leg,
To understand the dynamics of a fan base, one needs to establish their categories' in which they put the respective fans into. One must also understand that every fan is different and that their views will vary, even within the same fan group.
For this analogy I compare the Xena fan base to the way all life on Earth is organized - Families, Orders and Suborders etc. For the purpose of this short explanation I will use Families, Orders and Suborders.
The Family JOXERITE:
I think all Joxer fans would be lying if they said we were not a united group. We are. That's because we are a minority, as Ms. Boese states in her thesis, and we feel a need to stick together as many of our character preferences are victimized within the Xenaverse. The last thing the Joxer fans want is an 'Us against them' with the Pro-Subtext fans. In fact some of our contingent is composed of Subtext fans, namely JESSS (Joxer Enthusiasts Supporting Sapphic Subtext).
As an active Joxer Shield (defender of Joxer in the Xenaverse) I don't like to pit Joxer against subtext as I don't think he at all threatens it. If one looks they will realize the only thing threatening Xena subtext is it's 'PG' rating and the concern for the children in the fan base. Indeed it's the 'Moral Standard' of sensors, and the pursuit of an engaging storyline that keep the two women apart - for now.
Many of the more responsible and dedicated Joxerites and Joxer Shields will agree that we:
1. Support the choice of lesbian and non-lesbian fans to see subtext where they wish.
2. Do not want Gabrielle and Joxer to be 'going steady' and 'making out' in every episode.
3. Do not wish the show to be centred on Joxer - it is called 'Xena' after all!
4. Do not like the majority of the 'slapstick' humour imposed on Joxer's character - we see the potential for much more, and the poor guy falling on his rear is not as funny the 50th time.
These are but a few viewpoints expressed by Joxerites, mainly on the GJRS. I'll admit now that I had not talked to any fans outside of the GJRS fanbase, but I gather information from my discussions on alt.tv.xena and on fan pages, and being a Joxer fan I know my stuff.
So - Who are the Orders?
J.E.S.S.S - Joxer Enthusiasts Supporting Sapphic Subtext.
The JESSS contingent are a rather funny bunch - they have the best of both worlds. They support subtext and so are accepted by the main Xenaverse to a point - that acceptance is jarred when the 'Joxer Enthusiasm' comes into it. So - those wishing to fit in the larger Xenaverse can - but they love Joxer, and will defend him.
G.J.R.S - Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society.
This I know LOTS about. The Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society are not the raving bunch of anti-Subtext Joxer Fans that many of the other Fan Groups assume them to be. They are in fact happy to keep to themselves, not out of dislike but out of comfort for themselves and others, and they are most of all NOT inclined to impose their views upon others. (nor are any of the fan groups I describe here but GJRS have the blame placed more often in this case). The views of the GJRS members are wide and varied. Some would love to have a relationship happening on the show. Some would only like to see one develop and have it resolved at the end of the series, and some prefer to keep any permanent relationship within the realms of Fan Fiction and the imagination - whether Gabs be with Xena, or Joxer, or both.
These are fans who just like the dude. They will defend him, they support him, and in general are pretty on-the-fence sorts. I have not encountered many of these - so I cannot be too elaborate in my description.
Who makes the most noise, and who gets picked on the most?
Well - any good fan of Joxer will make as much noise as the next Xenite, and in fact the brawls on alt.tv.xena have been ones to behold, but the majority of the big arguments in discussion groups become personal very fast - and so are no real fair example of the different faction's mettle.
Despite this, much can be said.
Generally, those in the GJRS are at the bottom of the pecking order in the Xenaverse, in many many ways. We are a united, spirited and coalescent bunch, and are dedicated to our beliefs. This can often be interpreted as a righteous belief that others should feel the way we do. In no way is this the case. We are resigned to the fact that what we believe is generally looked down upon in the Xenaverse, and that many will NOT agree with us.
What we don't let ourselves be resigned to is unfair treatment of Joxer, be it in the show or on newsgroups, and primarily the unfair treatment of his fans, be they relationshippers or no.
You mentioned Suborders?
Sure I did. The suborders are those fans that don't really fit into their fan-group but share a lot with them. For example - a GJRS who likes the idea of the relationship but believes it should never happen. That sort of thing.
So - is that all you got to say?
Basically yeh. This is just my two cents on the Joxer Fan phenomena, and I only wish to open your eyes to the fact that to categorize a Joxer fan is like saying all 'Xenites' are HCNB without a cause. This is obviously not the case.
Joxer has a growing and steady fan base in the Xenaverse, made up primarily of women, usually fans of Ted Raimi. There have been many polls and surveys done on the makeup of the Joxer Fan Base with I recommend you looking into.
The Ballad of the Internet Nutball: The Xenaverse in Cyberspace