Baxil (baxil) wrote,

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Therianthropes' "German moments"

My mind goes in odd directions sometimes ...

kinkyturtle just posted some cartoons, one of which pokes fun at Nazifurs. Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like: furries who take great glee in their character violating Godwin's Law, even showing up at conventions dressed up in Nazi regalia. I mention this only because the second panel of the comic (a retelling of an encounter at Anthrocon where an actual German discovered one of the Nazifurs didn't speak the language) threw my brain on a tanget.

The encounter is funny because, well, Nazis. Not speaking German. The cognitive dissonance of it slaps you in the face. If somebody's going to all the trouble to incorporate such a recognizable symbol into their outward identity, you'd think that they'd at least try to get the glaringly obvious bits right.

And here's where my brain left the path: Do us dragons (and Otherkin/therianthropes in general) have our own "German moment"? In other words -- are we (some or many of us) missing out on anything that basic? Is there anything so fundamental to the theri experience that it seems glaringly obvious we would all have exposure to it, even though there are probably swaths of theris running around that haven't given it any thought?

As impolitic as it is to say it, I think there is.

And I'd like to submit that it's a silly thing to be a theri without having done -- and enjoyed! -- some camping and hiking.

Now, I'm not going to be a Nazi hard-ass about it and say the True Theri has to spend months at a stretch out in the woods. Not everyone has that sort of insanity, determination or resources. But look: we identify with creatures that are other than human. Creatures that, by and large, have no experience with tool use. Creatures whose lives were spent in direct contact with nature, fighting the elements, foraging or hunting for food, running or flying through the open spaces.

We make the choice to acknowledge that part of us because we like it. We identify with it. We have a deeper connection.

And so why would we want to sit in dark rooms, in front of cold computer screens, when we could have the chance -- at least occasionally -- to go out and live those experiences? To get a hands-on, visceral, tangible connection to the way our other side lives -- to step outside of humanity's smothering embrace for a while -- to be alone with ourselves and the caress of wind and embrace of sunlight.

Out in the woods, we discover ourselves. (I'm sure somebody famous said so. Thoreau?) And as people with such an investment in self-discovery, we should be leaping at that chance. It always surprises me when I meet those who don't. And I always have a negative gut reaction to overcome when dealing with theris who hate the idea of sleeping out under an open sky.

I should be careful to point out: this doesn't apply to all Otherkin. Elves in particular have a comparatively humanlike social structure; and not all Otherkin come from a primal background. (I think some time out in the woods would do anyone good, but that's another topic. :)) Language sticklers might note I'm talking mostly about "therianthropes" here -- people whose nonhuman side is that of an animal -- although mythic creatures such as gryphons and dragons also fall in the "primal" category.

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Also, on another topic entirely, I support the upcoming LJ content strike (Friday, March 21). The primary reason I'm here is that it's an accessible social hub, where I can keep track of many friends easily and share semiprivate content with them. When SUP gets progressively nastier to the folks who got free accounts here to keep track of paid members like me, and when they drive my friends off little by little, SUP undercuts my entire reason for sticking around as a paid member.
Tags: draconity, hiking
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