?

Log in

No account? Create an account
There's hope for the media yet - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
View My LJ [By Tag]


November 11th, 2007
02:40 am
[User Picture]

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
There's hope for the media yet
Tomorrowlands is still down. No ETA yet on server return, although work seems to be progressing.

In other news -- those of you who didn't first meet me through the dragon community may have heard some pretty outrageous things about "furries." There's a persistent and idiotic media myth -- and an accompanying Internet meme -- that "furry" is a sexual fetish and "furry conventions" are giant orgies of people in animal suits. To be blunt, this is not true. If you've never been to a furry con, please take five minutes and read through this article.

The author went undercover to a con, having been lured in by their lurid reputation ... and then did something unexpected and uplifting: she reported what actually occurred, instead of desperately casting about for the worst examples she could find in order to confirm her preconceptions.

I have been to dozens of furry cons and sci-fi cons. I have a long history of volunteering for both. I can confirm that the reporter's experiences were accurate (and that she captures many little details -- such as the Dance Dance Revolution machines and the chill of the headless rooms -- that show she was paying attention). The notes she makes about the contrasts between furry and sci-fi cons are largely accurate, as well, and it makes me suspect she has a history of prior con attendance.

If you've ever considered attending a furry con but balked due to their reputation, give this article a hard read as well. I wholeheartedly recommend the experience. For many of us, cons are the best (or only) chance we have to connect F2F with our online friends, and that alone makes it worth the investment.

Current Location: ~/brainstorm
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: "Secret of Mana Aphrodite Oceanus Remix," The Wingless
Tags: ,

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
From:raki
Date:November 11th, 2007 11:46 am (UTC)
(Link)
Heh, when you cut ties with the furry scene, even after having been immersed in it, you're still susceptible to these myths!

After seeing a number of non-furs refer to "furries" as "people who like to dress up as animals for sex (even when they were being overly careful to be non-judgemental about it), I had to come back and re-evaluate my memories of what people actually did!
And when you're trying to paint a sex- and kink-positive image of the furry scene, it's hard to not get bogged down in drawing the lines between the fetish and the fandom.

I also can't seem to access either the article or the Hartford Advocate website...
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 11th, 2007 12:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I can't reach the site either, and their server isn't responding to pings. It could be that it's down for maintenance (the time being late o'clock in Connecticut right now), or they could be getting /.ed by all of the sudden furry attention.

Try again tomorrow. It really is worth it.
[User Picture]
From:r_caton
Date:November 11th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
(Link)
moi aussi.

and it sounded interesting (never been, living in UK probably never will go, but love the pictures of fursuits....
such work!!
such art!!
and pretty obviosly impossible to perform sexual congress in anyways....

mind you what I hear about the "con cruds" and whiffy atmosphere must give us paws....
[User Picture]
From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 11th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Con crud's not really a problem as long as you're careful to bolster your immune system by keeping healthy and taking vitamins and/or preventive medicine.

And if by "whiffy atmosphere" you mean bad-smelling, well, in my experience that's another thing that's been blown out of proportion. Many people seem to have stories about "the one guy who went to the con and didn't shower", and somewhere within the internet blather machine, this got inflated to "OMG NOBODY AT FURRY CONS EVER BATHES AND THE WHOLE PLACE IS A HORRIBLE STANKFEST!!!"
From:raki
Date:November 12th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hee! I like the image of the little girl dancing with every fursuiter who joins the dancefloor.

But I agree -- this article would make no sense if not for the media sensationalism that preceded it. The logic of "refreshing normality" only gains purchase when the "OMG freaks!!!" angle has been exhausted.
From:mithent
Date:November 11th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I was surprised at the several furries who posted in the comments something along the lines of "Thanks, but I hope you get sued for sneaking in and shame on you for looking for sensationalism". It's rather looking a gift horse in the mouth. Most weren't like that, though.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:baronlaw
Date:November 11th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well written and it does seem she goes to other Cons at least.
[User Picture]
From:krinndnz
Date:November 11th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)

lulz

(Link)
... at 9 p.m. wrote: "May as well have gone to a Catholic school Halloween party. The dance starts in half an hour. Maybe something will happen there."

As a many-years-ago attendee of Catholic school Halloween parties, I got a distinct snicker out of this. Thanks for the pointer to the article.






(also "Aphrodite Oceanus" and Wingless in general are awesome)
[User Picture]
From:krinndnz
Date:November 11th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Also, a very useful bit of caution that I think should be on our minds, not just regarding this article, but the Whole Sort Of General Mish-Mash.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 12th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
(Link)
I read that when Brad first posted it, but it had slipped my mind. Thank you for the link.
[User Picture]
From:krinndnz
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:57 am (UTC)
(Link)
That and "There Is No Santa Claus" are pieces that I try to link people to early and often, especially when discussing The Media.
[User Picture]
From:baphnedia
Date:November 11th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It'll be fun to go to such a con, someday when my leave dates and con dates line up...
[User Picture]
From:joysweeper
Date:November 11th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Huh. Earlier in the year I had a roommate who subscribed fully to the "furry = freak" view - which seems rather odd, considering that she was not only an admitted "gamer girl"(and much more open about it than I...), but also a cosplayer who crossdresses as Link. I did ask about that... even got kind of indignant ... but she was pretty evasive. I wonder what she'd have thought of the article?

Being a semi-hermit, I tend to forget the way most people see anthros/therians/furries. This was an interesting article.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:29 am (UTC)
(Link)
It's a social dominance game. You can listen to ten thousand theories from ten thousand analysts inside and outside the subculture, but this is what they all boil down to: People want to have other people to feel superior to.

Furries are to geek culture what geeks were to high school culture. And in many ways, it's an inevitable outgrowth of the same phenomenon. Unfortunately, just because someone's at the bottom of the totem pole doesn't mean that they've given up on the hierarchy.
[User Picture]
From:ceruleanst
Date:November 11th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I can't help but focus on how it applies the basic news-writing principle that the most important information goes at the top of the article so that the reader can stop reading after a few paragraphs and know all they need to.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:November 12th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
(Link)
This is true, and -- as I remarked to lupagreenwolf, from who I got the link -- the article made me cringe until I actually bothered to continue reading past the first few paragraphs.

krinndnz posts a useful reminder above, though -- the link to bradhicks' take on subculture media coverage. This is definitely a report in the class of what Brad calls "Surprisingly Nice" stories. And the way those work, by definition, is to set up the stereotype in order to knock it down.

As much as I'd love to see news coverage of furry (or what have you) in the sense of "A bunch of normal people got together over the weekend and nothing happened," there's no news value there. So out of the universe of possible media coverage it's ever possible to receive, this is about the best possible result ... despite its sensationalism up front.
[User Picture]
From:dogemperor
Date:November 11th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, this is--agreed--a very good article :3

(And, interestingly, timely in my case--as it is, a friend of mine (who is now a major chairperson of a Major Anime Convention out in the midwest US) is responsible for inter-convention partnerships. One of the cons that the Major Anime Convention may be partnering with is Midwest Fur Fest. I have been specifically asked to Come Along should she attend as someone who at least has passing familiarity with furry fandom :D This will be especially amusing as this will be only the second convention I've ever attended, the first working in Artists' Alley at aforementioned Major Anime Convention a few years back. :D)
[User Picture]
From:cypherwulf
Date:November 11th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Anthrocon is the best weekend of the year for me, and has been since 2002 when I attended it for the very first time. It's a great way to meet new people and see close friends that I would not be able to otherwise. This article does a great job portraying the reality of it all.
Tomorrowlands Powered by LiveJournal.com