I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but in Real Life most of the furry fandom—for now, at least—lives in human bodies. We were all born with them, every last one of us. Some may claim souls of more diverse origin, but the flesh and blood nature of their humanity is beyond question. So, when I state that all of us are human and share common hard-wired human traits and frailties I hope people won’t throw too many stones.
For we are human, you know. Thoroughly, depressingly, and very completely so. We see the world through human eyes, hear with human ears, and process these inputs through a nervous system that, though we rarely consider the matter, was shaped solely by evolutionary forces and therefore is brimming with billions of years worth of illogical prejudices and mistaken priorities. Surviving long enough to produce successful offspring is the only thing that matters to Mr. Darwin. Not, for example, having the ability to apply dispassionate and objective logic to all situations. Yes, we’re the best-thinking creatures we yet know of. Yet at heart we’re still just another breed of animal, not immaterial shining globes of energy free from worldly distractions like hemorrhoids and noisy neighbors with ill-mannered children. Not only are we animals, we’re animals equipped with powerful drives and blind instincts, beasts who snarl and fight and sometimes even murder each other for reasons that an immaterial energy sphere would find totally incomprehensible. We’re demonstrably territorial, extraordinarily sexual, protective of our offspring and…
…we live in a social structure that requires a leader in order to function properly.
Continue reading Leadership, Morality and Humanity→
Seventeen years ago, at about this time of year, a female friend publicly accused me of hitting her.
There was a party at the house I shared with four others, and she was invited. At the end of the night she came into my bedroom. And a couple of hours later, she called a friend of mine, very upset, saying that I’d hit her. She probably told other people as well; I don’t know.
But I didn’t hit her. We didn’t even make physical contact. She was lying.
Following the close timing of two events that caused a good deal of drama in the fandom (explained below), some of the [a][s] contributors exchanged e-mails to discuss the situations and what they and the response to them said about the fandom. Below is a slightly edited (mostly for clarity and continuity and to exclude the names of contributors who did not wish to be included) transcript of the e-mails that went around for a couple days, followed by “closing statements” from contributors who wished to make one. What follows are the opinions of the individual contributors, which should not be taken as any official position of [adjective][species], and which are offered in the spirit of [a][s]’s mission of figuring out just what the heck we are doing in this wonderful furry world of ours. As some of the contributors note, this topic is not particularly relevant to being furry, but it is relevant to the furry fandom.
Continue reading Reputation in the Furry Fandom: Zaush, Sasho, and Judgment by Social Media→
GreenReaper—WikiFur founder, Inkbunny owner, and Flayrah editor-in-chief—was at the centre of an online foofaraw in December after someone asked him about comments he made in 2011:
He said: I’m not going to call someone “he”/”she” if they are not physically male/female.
His point of view is uncomplicated (if unsophisticated). In short:
He prefers to use pronouns to refer to primary sexual characteristics.
@coyoteseven I believe gender is a subjective and fluid value, and so prefer to use pronouns to refer to primary sexual characteristics.
— GreenReaper (@WikiNorn) 1:12 AM – 28 Dec 2013
The correct use of words, including pronouns, is primarily an issue for the person using them.
@coyoteseven My point: the correct use of words, including pronouns, is primarily a matter for the person who must choose which to use.
— GreenReaper (@WikiNorn) 1:10 AM – 28 Dec 2013
To many people, this will seem like a small semantic issue and hardly worth thinking about. To other people, this will seem like a very big deal indeed. It’s actually both: it is a semantic issue, but an important semantic issue. And as is often the case with this sort of thing, the truth is more complex than parties on either side might suggest.
Guest post by Geo Holms. Geo is an excellent raccoon and creator of Loose Ferrets.
Life is too short to worry about the Internet.
Don’t get me wrong, the Internet is awesome. All my best friends are from the Internet. The Internet helped prompt me into writing and drawing and creative adventures. The Internet is just fantastic.
However, the Internet is also huge and amorphous and weird and can sometimes cause people to do dumb things. The Internet is people throwing thoughts into the void. Thanks to things like Twitter and Facebook and e-mail and IM, some of those thoughts are countered with more thoughts, and so forth ad infinitum. That social network of thoughts and counter-thoughts is the foundation of the Internet.
Continue reading How to Win the Game of the Internet→
What about the PayPal kerfuffle with FurAffinity? That was more recent.
Ooh, or “Kristal can’t enjoy her sandwich”? Remember that one? That was a good one. It was pretty closely related to Yiffyleaks (insert eye-roll here), banning cub porn, and not banning Sonic art. They all sort of circle around FA.
Those were all pretty big deals! Remember them?
Now, when was the last time you thought about them?
Continue reading The Dramagogues – Episode 3 – Making Waves→
Last Monday I posted an article comparing born-again Christians to born-again furries, those of us who found their life’s ear-and-tail-filled path at a more mature age. The discovery of something so important and personal often leads to born-again furries (and Christians) to be evangelical about their revelatory experience.
I used this to introduce a rough truism – a closely-held extreme belief often belies a transformative personal experience.
We have all met furries who hold extreme opinions on various topics. These opinions are regularly infuriating – however there is often a personal story behind the opinion. And that story will help cast the extreme opinion in a new, more understanding, perspective.
This is a theme you’ve heard from me before and will likely hear in the future: that it’s important to be tolerant.
I want to continue the theme by talking about the so-called ex-gay movement. It is a great example that has an equivalent resonance within the furry community.
George W. Bush is probably the world’s most famous born again Christian. At age 40, he was a borderline-alcoholic, a failed businessman, and the son of a successful politician. He credits a conversation with the Reverend Billy Graham in the mid-1980s, a high-profile preacher and Bush family friend, with turning him around.
Whatever you think of Bush as a politician, and whether you believe his story about rediscovering religion (plenty of people feel it’s a convenient fiction), it’s a compelling narrative: “ne’er-do-well boozehound finds God; becomes president”.
Bush’s story is unique but the sentiment is common amongst born-again Christians. Born-again Christians like Bush credit their faith for showing them the path to becoming a fully realized person. It is a revelatory experience to discover, or rediscover, your direction in life. The strength of that experience is such that born-again Christians are notoriously evangelical about their faith.
In the last post about drama, I wondered whether or not we, as a community, really were more dramatic than those around us, and if so, why, or if not, why we seem to think we are. Much of the content of that post came from responses to a few questions on twitter. Perhaps the best thing about our fandom is our willingness and ability to communicate, and that really is the basis of much of these articles, I had asked previously whether or not we were more dramatic and why, and gotten several very succinct answers as to why that might be the case, Beyond that, however, I also asked if our drama is in some way different than that in the world around us, and got several additional responses to this question, which is the basis for this, the second episode of The Dramagogues.
Continue reading The Dramagogues – Episode 2 – Drama→
I’ve been tiptoeing around this subject for a while now. It’s one of those topics that is both a pretty big deal and should be talked about, as well as one that is pretty divisive and some people could be tetchy about. My big worry in bringing it up I not that I’ll open a discussion on the topic, because that’s what I want to do. Rather, I worry that any discussion that does happen would be more inflammatory than anything. It’s one of those topics that a lot of people seem to agree on, but not agree on why, and it’s difficult to describe in words in any event. So I’m going to do the band-aid thing here and just say it all at once: either furries are more dramatic people than other groups, or they think they are, and either concept is fraught with implications and certainly worth exploring, given how much time and energy the fandom seems to put into its drama.
Continue reading The Dramagogues – Episode 1 – Strife→