?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Signal boost: Concerns about Otherkin TV show - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
View My LJ [By Tag]


January 11th, 2011
07:22 pm
[User Picture]

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Signal boost: Concerns about Otherkin TV show
Looks like someone is out there "casting a new [reality TV] show following members of the Otherkin community. The intent of the show is to educate and explore all things Otherkin, so we are seeking authentic members of the Otherkin community only, and all Species are welcome." There have been a lot of ads spammed to Otherkin groups, and I also received the casting call by email today (at the address listed in the Draconity FAQ).

There's been some discussion and research going on in various Otherkin fora - especially given the vague and kinda unprofessional nature of the first contact. The offer appears aboveboard, in the sense that the channel in question has confirmed the existence and legitimacy of the casting call.

But that doesn't mean that participating is a good idea.

If you're considering taking part, please read the link above and make sure you know the way the Reality TV machine works. (tl;dr: "These people are normal!" does not sell commercials.)

And consider the long-term consequences. If you do this, you will spend a long time being defined not by who you are, but by who you presented yourself as to the TV. (Or, more accurately, who the TV makes you appear to be.)

You'll be recognized for years as "Oh, yeah, that guy who was in that otherkin TV show." It will be a lot like getting a tattoo.

Current Location: ~spiral
Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Current Music: Chi A.D., "Redivider"
Tags:

(23 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 12th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
(Link)
A very wise man once said that he would never belong to a club that would have him as a member. I am whatever I am because I don't fit into the official sanctioned version of What Being Human Is; I have exactly no interest in being told an official sanctioned version of What Being Otherkin Is.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 13th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Groucho's wisdom is well taken.
[User Picture]
From:cyaneus
Date:January 12th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
Even if this documentary ended up being inoffensive, I am not sure how I would feel about the existence of the otherkin community being mainstream knowledge.
[User Picture]
From:siege
Date:January 12th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)
(Link)
Ask some furries. We can tell you, especially those of us (like me) who've been around furry fandom since before y2k and had to watch what happened as all those ridiculous things fell into the public eye.
[User Picture]
From:cyaneus
Date:January 12th, 2011 07:10 am (UTC)
(Link)
Furries seem to have weathered the storm pretty well, especially considering how caught up everyone else was in the possibility of their bizarre sexual fetishes.
[User Picture]
From:siege
Date:January 12th, 2011 07:27 am (UTC)
(Link)
The individuals who were initially put on display, however, became persona non grata to large swathes of people interested in something more than "freak show TV". But that faded, too, mostly.

It helps that furries change their social names occasionally.
[User Picture]
From:cyaneus
Date:January 12th, 2011 08:35 am (UTC)
(Link)
True. It must have been difficult for those folks to defend not just their hobbies, but also their integrity as people, to a large number of very biased strangers. Thankfully for most furries, the common response from outsiders these days seems to be merely a dismissive eyeroll coupled with a sigh of, "oh, furries."

But the otherkin community has always been much more private than the furry fandom. We get our fair share of trolls, but our obscurity has kept us pretty safe aside from the occasional mean-spirited humor website or forum.
[User Picture]
From:tangyabominy
Date:January 12th, 2011 08:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
I was almost on a docu, many years ago. Actually, I was almost on two: one covering multiples and one covering otherkin. I remember we filmed the preliminary stuff (sort of a snippet they'd send to the producer to see if they liked it, I guess?) for the second one at the beach, which, since it was Northern England and all, required a windbreak. Fun times.

Nothing came of it, anyway. And I'm older and wiser now, and likely would not touch such a thing with a bargepole. Took me back, anyway.
[User Picture]
From:amberite
Date:January 12th, 2011 08:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
I still wish a friend of mine would publish the student project otherkin documentary he made that I'm in. It was only shown to his class, but it's incredibly balanced and well put together.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 13th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I would love to see that (published or no).
[User Picture]
From:dancinglights
Date:January 12th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
What really gets me about this is, er Animal Planet? Really? And here I was sitting quietly thankful that Mad Mad House didn't actually get another season, after they contacted folks I knew about it.

Edited at 2011-01-12 05:52 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 13th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)
For extra bonus irony, their slogan is "Surprisingly Human".

(Their show schedule is kind of revealing, actually. Chimp reality TV! Cute pets! More cute pets! Animal attacks! Dangerous vermin! Near-death experiences that have nothing to do with animals what?)
From:drake [begriffli.ch]
Date:January 13th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
(Link)

ObSMBC (http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=678). (Hopefully it's not too off for the topic.)

[User Picture]
From:walks_far
Date:January 13th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
(Link)
Bax . . . if you are planning to involve yourself with this be very careful. Some of us prefer to reside in anonimity for a number of reasons. We are who we are for a reason and have tasks as that entity that should not make the light of day.
[User Picture]
From:kadyg
Date:January 13th, 2011 09:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
This won't happen for two reasons.

1. I firmly believe I'll have the hot chocolate concession at the ice skating party in Hell before Bax thinks being on an Otherkin reality show is a good idea.

2. Neither of us are nearly weird enough (On the surface, anyway. We both present pretty mainstream.) for a camera crew to find us interesting more than an hour or two.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 13th, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
kadyg is correct; I have no interest in being on this show.

In the unlikely event that a serious and respectful documentary were to be made (and reality TV is unequivocally neither), I *might* be interested, but the first, last, and in-between questions would be "Do the possible benefits of this outweigh the known harms?" Caution is 100% the guiding principle.
[User Picture]
From:krinndnz
Date:January 13th, 2011 05:31 am (UTC)

teal deer: don't fucking talk to the media

(Link)
I am instantly put in mind of bradhicks' prudent advice on the matter, which I excerpt and paraphrase here less for your edification than for that of readers who haven't seen it:
Let me tell you something about journalism, from "A History Of News." Normal professional journalists always know what story they're going to write before they talk to a single source. How do they do this? There are probably fewer than 200 ur-stories that can be written, period, that anybody who reads or watches the news ever wants to hear. So the reporter shows up at the scene of a news story with an outline of a story in their head and all they need is three one-sentence quotes for color, and the correct spelling of each person's name. This is journalism as it is genuinely practiced.

It is my observation that there are only three ur-news stories that can possibly be written about a weird subculture or one of its members. I call them "Funny Zoo Animals," "Threat or Menace," and "Surprisingly Nice." The odds of you getting that last story are hundreds to one against. "Funny Zoo Animals" is the freak-show piece: "look at the harmless, funny, crazy people!" It's always condescending in tone; that's the point. People read it to reassure themselves that they're better off normal. "Threat or Menace" is named after an old Reader's Digest article about the Communist Party USA titled: "Communism: Threat? or Menace?" In that story, that's the whole range of possible opinion given: either the weird subculture in question is an impending threat or an already-serious menace. The weirdos in question are portrayed as dangerously crazy, likely to do anything, and very interested in recruiting your spouse and your children. "Are your children safe?" Experts will be quoted who say no. Any quotes you give will be selected for how crazy and stupid they can make you sound, any expert quoted as being on your side will be hand-selected for how easily they can be dismissed by other experts.

No, the best you can ever hope against hope for is, "Surprisingly Nice," where the story starts off being how weird and silly (or weird and menacing) you and your subculture seem to be, still reinforcing one of those two stereotypes, "but (person's name) turned out to be surprisingly nice." Reporters hate the "Surprisingly Nice" story because they take it for granted that they're being manipulated. They know that you're distorting how you really are in hopes of getting some favorable publicity, in hopes of getting somebody in particular or the public in general off of your back. The only time you really have anything better than a very long shot chance at getting "Surprisingly Nice" is when some inexplicable tragedy hits. Cancer is OK, but having your child murdered is better. The best way to get a "Surprisingly Nice" story is to come down with some fatal, wasting disease that strikes truly at random but leaves you looking photogenic; that's always good for media sympathy. Otherwise, forget it; what you're going to end up in is "Funny Zoo Animals" or "Threat or Menace."

As a deviant, there is no percentage for you in talking to the media. Their treatment of deviant subcultures is, on average, just as abominably bad as their treatment of any other topic of importance. If you stick your neck out to speak to them, you're gambling not only with your own reputation/life/peace-of-mind, but with that of probably everyone you know. If you want to play that game, you had better go into it with research, rehearsal, and willingness to cheat just as much as they do. This is perhaps the only area of life in which you should look to modern Republicans for model behavior: they are experts in exploiting the idiocy of the modern news-as-entertainment media culture. Without investing a tremendous amount of time into being able to seek out and counteract the million fallacies of the modern media, you will only damage your subculture and your own ability to have a quiet, happy life, by talking to the media. Most people I know would rather skip the media and simply invest their time in having an enjoyable life.
[User Picture]
From:krinndnz
Date:January 13th, 2011 05:32 am (UTC)

Re: teal deer: don't fucking talk to the media

(Link)
Also you (all values of 'you,' really) should read the source link, because I had to do hideous things to that quote to paraphrase it down into LJ's arbitrary and obnoxious 4300-character limit on comment length.
[User Picture]
From:roaminrob
Date:January 13th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Anybody that participates in this is a fool, but the show will probably find enough willing fools. They'll be people that either are intrigued by the idea of being on TV, or people that think they'll somehow be able to present themselves in a more respectful way on the show, or people that don't care either way and will do it because "why not?"

Predictably, the participants will end up looking as silly as the show's producers can make them look, and then anyone that self-identifies as "Otherkin" will be assumed to behave the same by anyone that's seen the show, or heard of it. Screencaps from the show will probably end up getting used on 4chan for great lulz (or more of the cancer that's killing /b/, depending on which idiot comments first).

A quick browse through the producers' website is informative enough.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 13th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
"Don't worry sir, I can assure you that we will treat you with the same respect and lack of sensationalism as we did with the midget weightlifter."
[User Picture]
From:zon14
Date:January 13th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The only problem to me seems that if this show ever does air, it's going to have a non-representative sample of otherkin, since those of us with more than one neuron in our heads won't go near it, myself included.

The producer's won't care about this point of course, since said "reality" shows are about as real as a 3 dollar bill. The more complete idiots the better in their world.

I can only pray the US populace really isn't this moronic and they be able to quickly see through this ruse of a show and have a serious, unbiased discussion on the topic afterward.

I know. Fat chance there, but one can always hope.
[User Picture]
From:tailypo
Date:January 19th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I got the email and promptly deleted it.

I wouldn't poke that with my 20 foot tail.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 21st, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The entire thing carries an air of the odd because honestly: who is still thinking about "otherkin" today, even on the internet? The relative few who still find the label worthwhile naturally. But even in online storehouses of the strange (and the mocked), otherkin is ancient meme.

It faded with the 1990s and neo paganism fad, having piggybacked at least some good measure of its attractiveness of the same underlying desires that drew people to pagan-naturalism-primordial reconstruction.

In fact, a television programe on otherkin might make less sense today to the average viewer than it would have in 2001!
Tomorrowlands Powered by LiveJournal.com