All posts by JM

About JM

JM is a horse-of-all-trades who was introduced to furry in his native Australia by the excellent group known collectively as the Perthfurs. JM now helps run [adjective][species] from London, where he is most commonly spotted holding a pint and talking nonsense.

Clair C and the limits of anthropomorphism

Clair C is an unusually prolific furry comic artist. She has several long comic collections, including Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon satires, the delirious Unicorn in Black, and her ongoing comedy/adventures The Flying Lion and Mythical Adventures.

Yet perhaps her best work is not a long story, but her collection of one- or two-page comics, published under the title Slices of Something.

Slices of Something is thematically united by its exploration of the boundaries of an anthropomorphic universe. The comics are, to a furry reader, immediately engaging and funny and, to a lay reader, befuddling. Her ideas are subtle enough to feel magical, yet deep enough that the magic doesn’t fade when you manage to put your finger on exactly what she’s doing.

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Sondaggio Furry Italiano: Data from an Italian Furry Survey

Furry is an international phenomenon, and English is our predominant language. All our large conventions, from Anthrocon to Eurofurence to Japan Meeting of Furries to Russfurence, cater to English speakers. Attend any of these and you’ll find furries with English as their second or third or fourth language, communicating and participating in our lingua franca.

For a native English speaker, it’s easy to overlook non-English-speaking furry. But it exists, and as best we can tell, the next two biggest furry languages are Russian and Italian.

We are really pleased to be able to present here, for the first time, data from an Italian furry survey (Sondaggio Furry Italiano), that was open over 2012/13. The survey was entirely in Italian, and the results to date have only been published in Italian. Thanks to [a][s] contributor MrMandolino (who is Italian), we can present them here in English. (We’re also republishing the results, and a translation of this article, in Italian.)

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The Furry Canon: Animal Farm

This article is an updated version of a piece published on [adjective][species] in March 2012.

Animal Farm is George Orwell’s 1945 classic novel.

Orwell is considered to be one of the great authors and Animal Farm, along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, is considered to be one of his masterpieces. Animal Farm follows the story of anthropomorphic animals that overthrow their human farmer master and run the farm on their own terms.

I re-read Animal Farm with the idea that I would review it for [adjective][species]. I was planning to conclude that it’s a great book, and a great furry book, that all furries should read it, and it’s an easy book to recommend to the [adjective][species] Furry Canon.

I have re-read Animal Farm, but I’m not recommending to the Furry Canon. Read something else.

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A Second Life

Furry life is real life, kinda.

Ever had a furry friend disappear? That doesn’t happen in real life.

It’s an important event when someone close to you, non-furry, dies. Friends and family gather and mourn and celebrate and reflect on the life of the person they’ve lost. If the deceased was young, people lament the life that will never be lived. If the deceased is old, people talk about the value and brevity of a full life.

Celebrating life and death is important, and it’s something that is often denied to the furry friends of the deceased. Let’s say that I, your humble furry author, slip on some ice on Harleyford Street’s sloping pavement and get struck by an aggressively-driven number 36 bus this Thursday morning. You, gentle furry reader, will probably find out about this over social media a few days later.

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Factors influencing the furry experience: A Statistical Analysis

Here at [adjective][species] we are just starting to get to grips with the wealth of data collected in the 2015 Furry Survey. We collected valid responses from more than 11,000 furries last year. This collection, including responses from annual surveys dating back to 2009, represents an unprecedented insight into furry.

We recently shared our entire dataset with Nuka (aka Courtney Plante PhD, aka Dr. Cat), who is one of the scientists behind (and co-founder of) the International Anthropomorphic Research Project. He performed an analysis for us, looking at how different factors affect the furry experience, which is presented below.

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Of Horses and Men

Of Horses and Men is a 2013 Icelandic film (Hross í oss). The English subtitled version is widely available for streaming, or as a cheap DVD in all the usual places.

Of Horses and Men

It’s a strange film. It opens with a man saddling his mare, and it’s clear from the interactions between man and horse that their relationship is new. The saddling is shot and edited as a seduction: the man is intent on going for a ride, but first he must gain her trust, and she must submit to him.

The subtext running through the film is simple enough: that humans and horses are both animals, slave to our animal desires, whatever they may be. We’re all dumb and self-destructive; we bring misery upon ourselves because we are unable to transcend our very simple animalistic instincts.

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Ideas on Anti-Social Behaviour at Furry Events

Anti-social behaviour caused problems at three different furry events in recent times. These incidences are rare, and there is nothing to suggest that they are becoming less rare. However the fact that three issues occurred coincidentally has led to many of us wonder about furry culture.

Ultimately, each person has personal responsibility for their actions. Beyond that, furries in general hold a collective responsibility for behaviour and self-policing. And finally, organizers are able to influence the culture of a group event.

So how can organizers of large furry gatherings create a culture that reduces the chance of a problem?

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Wearing ears may be associated with depression

[adjective][species] regularly informally collaborates with the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP), a collection of psychologists and sociologists looking at the furry community. We are amateurs, they are professionals. We have the freedom to present anything we find interesting; they are constrained by the usual rules of academic engagement.

Nuka, a furry with a PhD in social psychology, is a long-time member of the IARP as well as an occasional contributor to [a][s]. In conversation about data (the best kind of conversation), he noted a surprising finding from his research:

“The IARP has found evidence that wearing ears (but not other accessories or fursuits) is particularly associated with depression and reduced self-esteem in furries.”

I used this interesting statistical tidbit during an [adjective][species] panel (Confuzzled 2015), as an example of a surprise hidden in the data: something you’d never expect, or think to look for. It provoked a few questions from the audience, which Nuka and I do our best to answer here.

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