On the way back from a popular Palo Alto coffee house, Adam Riggs - also known as Nicodemus - stops at his car to show off a new raccoon suit. Sporting a furry blue headpiece, the Silicon Valley computer programmer begins to wave like an amusement park mascot. "My first costume was a fluffy rat with large eyes and a pair of …
Accurate for once
Long time Reg reader and furry, I can say that this article is one of the more balanced and accurate representations of the furry fandom. It's refreshing.
To be sure the vast majority of furries are technical folks, mostly because we use the internet to find each other and because furry has a lot of fantasy-sci fi connections that are endemic to geeks in general. However, the balance is beginning to change as more and more non-geeks get online and start finding people with similar interests.
"Journalists — also a brainy bunch"
Says who? :O)
Now, someone tell Spike that dogs are carnivorous...
WikiFur.com has more information
There *was* actually a recent survey by UC Davis which included the number of furries with fursuits (which has grown to around 15%):
If you want to know what the furries thought of CSI:
As for the group that the author contacted:
The whole site's got 7,000 articles on all things furry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom is pretty good, too.
Considering El Reg's vulture culture I am very surprised to see such a fair and accurate article on the furry fandom. Thanks El Reg.
A bad comparison.
"for some they may feel too fat, for some they are the wrong gender. Furries are reconciling the discrepancy between the animal self inside and the physical body they were born with."
Okay, I'm going to say that I don't hate furries, in fact I have many frieds who are furries. But please don't compare me to them.
see, size doesn't matter.
sorry but I just had to point this out.
"I've had a lot of sex at furry conventions," admits Howling, "but I'm a slut, and I arranged the party." Yet Howler says he doesn't necessarily represent the *larger* furry population.
"Many people feel their body doesn't match their real self," he says "for some they may feel too fat, for some they are the wrong gender. Furries are reconciling the discrepancy between the animal self inside and the physical body they were born with."
Yet another way for those with social/physical/mental problems to avoid the real world and hide behind a fursuit and become something they're not...
Kill it with fire, it's the only way.
``But this process of humanizing an animal is what being a furry is all about, ''
Hm, I'd rather say that the process of re-animalizing humans (i.e., reintroducing ultimately unavoidable aspects of human nature omitted from many human cultures) is.
@``A bad comparison'':
The fact that you don't want to be compared in a certain way doesn't mean that the comparison is incorrect. The very nature of the concept of ``self-image'' results in descrepancies between one's preferred image and the actual one.
there a CSI episode about this bunch of freaks?
And we should care because...?
Sorry, don't understand the point of this article. So IT-types are attracted to minority hobbies? We already knew that. So some of them are weak-minded enough to start thinking they're really animals and wearing synthetic cuddly-toy outfits? So what? In your own place, do as you please.
Geeks like all sorts of things. Some like RPGs, online or pen&paper. Most read genre fiction of one type or another. Personally, my thing is re-enactment medieval battles. No, not SCA or LARP stuff. The other type, metal weapons, real armour, genuine beatings dished out and received. I'd say a good 70% of those who are involved work or have worked in IT.
Is it the loss-of-plot "I'm really an animal in human form who watches SciFi and eats pizza" stuff that's supposed to be interesting?
So now we know
The surface of the bubble is furry.
They're coming to the theatre too...
There's a musical coming up about furryness too, called Yiff! (www.yiff.org.uk)
All this and no Yiff!?
All this and no mention of the forthcoming "Yiff! A Furry Musical" (www.yiff.org.uk). Honestly...
'he authored a book'?
Perhaps you meant to use the word 'wrote'.
3rd page, 3rd paragraph of the article.
Thus comes the end of The Register as we knew it, and in comes the new /. web 2.0.1-pre alpha version.
Forget reading the actual article, just zip to the bottom and click reply without reading more then the headline.
``Yet another way for those with social/physical/mental problems to avoid the real world''
``and hide behind a fursuit and become something they're not...''
That's the art of growth. You first learn about something, you getting interested, you're beginning to act differently and you integrate aspects of it into your personality... and after a while, you can't imagine your pesonality being any different than it has become. The initial hurdle is caused by the way neural networks work.
So many people in our society miss it. They die being exactly the same as they are born. Luckily, some people refuse being automagons. The latter is a Good Thing.
RE: And we should care because...?
``We already knew that.''
No news is good news, I guess :^)
``So some of them are weak-minded enough to start thinking they're really animals and wearing synthetic cuddly-toy outfits?''
While some are weak-minded enough to wear fursuits, some are instead strong-minded enough to do the exact same thing. Due to perception, the line between madness and geniality appears very thin and shaky.
A clarification for Rich Bryant
"Weak-minded," huh. I was going to say that the point was more that many furries are socially impaired enough to fit in well with the rest of the IT profession. But that would've been really passive-aggressive and closed-minded of me, so you do as you please, Rich. No woman will ever love you like Zenworks does.
re: bad comparison
Gotta agree here. I'm in the wrong-gender category m'self (and latterly I can feel the too-fat one sneakin' up on me; alas the sedentary IT life), but I'm also a furry (by most people's definitions, anyway) but do not in the least consider myself to be the wrong species or anything like that.
For me (and, I think, most other furries), it's more a form of escapism, just a fun way to go off and be someone else once in a while (the SCA comparison is particularly apt). The 'animal self inside' people are, in my experience, a relatively small proportion of the fandom, and are more tied in with the folks who consider themselves to be really elves, vampires, etc, collectively known as Otherkin. Personally, that's a little too far out for me, but what the heck, who am I to judge?
Anyway, other than that, surprisingly good article. I think the differentiation between furries in general and the fur-suit subculture may have been clarified earlier on, but other than that, good to see someone getting their facts straight.
Tribalism in the west, what is the big deal?
Hells Insurance Agents
Poker geeks, etc.
There was an article recently in Damn Interesting on sanity vs. insanity and how it relates to perceiving the world as it ACTUALLY is.
Escapism isn't for freaks... It's for people who don't want to go absolutely fruitcake.
Incidentally, I attended Further Confusion as a volunteer staff member, and what I enjoyed most about it was the gathering of artists. A lot of the artwork is very, very good, and having unusual subjects makes the art unusual as well. It takes some real talent to make a 'furry' character look good.
I view the conventions as a 'creator's convention', where people share costumes, artwork, or just characters they've created. It's a fandom subculture, not an alternate lifestyle subculture for most people.
RE: re: bad comparison
``The 'animal self inside' people are, in my experience, a relatively small proportion of the fandom, ''
Yup -- that's exactly the reason why I tend to stay out of most fandom affairs.
`` the world as it ACTUALLY is.''
Once we have reached the point where we are long immaterial and in theory have the ability observe things without prejudice, we may find that there is such a thing as an ``objective viewpoint''; however, there is no indication as such yet.
``Escapism isn't for freaks... ''
Of course it is, and exclusively 8)
`` It's for people who don't want to go absolutely fruitcake.''
Exactly -- I usually prefer chocolate myself.
Besides, the trick of escapism is not to be whisked away to another place and time, but to integrate that place and time with your physical and mental states to create a powerful mechanism to control the mind. A kind of inverse meditation, if you will.
``Incidentally, I attended Further Confusion'' [...] ``It takes some real talent to make a 'furry' character look good.''
Unfortunately, the effects of Sturgeon's Law are very noticable even there.
The moment someone has the ability to step back and look upon itself somewhat dispassionately, that person is already too different from mainstream society (bleh) to not to be considered ``alternative''.
RE: A clarification for Rich Bryant
`` socially impaired enough to fit in well with the rest of the IT profession. ''
Don't forget the group of people who are too socially advanced to permit fluid communication with ``the rest of the IT [bleh, zeur] profession'', let alone mere mortals.
Praise the Lord!
An article about furries that doesn't make us all out to be complete perverts. How remarkably refreshing. Suppose it'll always seem odd to people outside of it, but as someone who has been in the UK furry community for a while, I've seen nothing but people socialising and having a laugh, the same as any other subculture. I've made some valued friends through the UK fandom, and generally had a great time in the process. There are those who view it at a very deep level, but for me it's pure escapism. Every so often I can meet up with friends, wander about Central London wearing a tail and just being generally silly and remind myself that there's more to life than the daily grind. That's it! I wish "the media" would stop being so obsessed with investigating us like we're some sort of depraved sex cult. I know a few people who have spent £1500+ on fursuits, and the LAST thing they are going to do is get them covered in assorted bodily fluids.
The Metro (London) had an article about furries
It's even reached these shores, but it appears to have been slightly twisted:
RE: Praise the Lord!
``An article about furries that doesn't make us all out to be complete perverts.''
Hm, the title of your comment doesn't exactly support that position. [sorry, but Fish, barrel, shotgun.]
``Suppose it'll always seem odd to people outside of it,''
And to people on the inside. That's the beauty of it.
``I wish "the media" would stop being so obsessed with investigating us like we're some sort of depraved sex cult.''
Wait -- we are, and we're having a lot of fun in the process 8)
``LAST thing they are going to do is get them covered in assorted bodily fluids.''
Not had the chance yet to build up an ``appreciation'' for those forms, but it sounds like fun >:P
The Point(TM): don't take yourself so seriously :P
Comment from "Tom Howling"
Hey, folks. Tom Howling here.
Thanks to Ms. Coombs for a good report! Just to make a few clarifications regarding my quotes:
* "Misincarnation" is one of my central fascinations with furriness, but I didn't mean to imply that all furries are misincarnates. (Viz. "Furries are reconciling the discrepancy between the animal self inside and the physical body they were born with.") I agree with the earlier commenter that that's a minority group within the fandom, and tried to make that clear. But one can only fit so many words into an article, and I'm sure my disclaimers ended up on the cutting-room floor. (I'm also a professional journalist, BTW: See http://www.tomgeller.com . Ms. Coombs is right that there aren't many of us in the fandom.)
* I don't know why the guest at my BBQ *should* have made any apology for his t-shirt, which is on par with what you see on the streets of cities and small towns every day. See it yourself at http://www.michelelight.com/prints.htm (it's the one for "Tiki Joe's").
* Finally, I wouldn't say I'm a "self-proclaimed wolf". I actually don't identify with any specific animal. I told Ms. Coombs that I've been *drawn as* a wolf, fox and mouse -- which I can understand could have led her to think that those were my furry identities. A lot of people assume that "howling" = "wolf", but lots of animals howl. I had a couple of pet mice a few years ago, and they howled... all night, in very high voices. :)
Anyway... props all around!
The thing to understand about the furry fandom is....
It can't be cataloged into one group. You need to think of the fandom like a spectrum. Some people like the cartoons they grew up with, the video games the played with. Some people like to draw fantasy characters. Some like to role play as a character. Some believe they had a totem spirit. Some believe the have the spirit of x, y, or z creature. Some believe in that spirit so much they dress up as that creature. Some dress up because its part of their roll playing. Some dress up because its a kink. And hell. Some dress up because its fun.
Its like people who like to read. Just because there are people who are into erotic literature doesn't mean everyone is into it. Ditto with the furry fandom.
PS- Yah I'm a furry. I don't take it serious in any way shape or form. Its just fun.
RE: The thing to understand about the furry fandom is....
``It can't be cataloged into one group. You need to think of the fandom like a spectrum. ''
Duh -- that's true everywhere in this universe for any 'it'.
RE: De Zeurkous
Yes it should be a DUH concept and one that shouldn't have to be blatantly spelled out to people. Unfortunately the real world doesn't work that way does it?
The fandom has received some really BAD press over the last 4 years. To the point where furry has established a stereotype that Trekkie\Trekkers and scifi fans in general had in the late 80's. Today most people see sci fi fans as pretty much mainstream.
I spell it out because it needs to be drilled into the consciousness of society that furries aren't all about sex and the only way that will happen is if you lay it out in a way that IS blatantly obvious.
RE: RE: De Zeurkous
``Unfortunately the real world doesn't work that way does it?''
I prefer to believe that clueful people are by nature closer to the Real World(TM) than the mass of people who deceive themselves every day in order to stay happy.
``The fandom has received some really BAD press over the last 4 years.''
The mainstream press is run by a bunch of n00bs -- why should we care about bad press from those folks?
``Today most people see sci fi fans as pretty much mainstream.''
Once a subculture becomes mainstream it ceases to exist, taking most cluefulness on it's way >/dev/null.
``I spell it out because it needs to be drilled into the consciousness of society ''
Never try -- while ultimately success seems compellingly at hand, the stereotypes will just sink from the subconscious to the underconscious -- the subversion will be even more out of anyone's control.
Remember, those people are effectively brainwashed from birth. The only way for them to get a clue is a long evolution over many generations -- if they will attain it at all before their extinction.
We now have a Register that appears to be interested and furries and Suckat Life. This could never be described as improvement except by the fundamentally unsane, such as furries and Suckat Life players.
And just for Melvin Goodjob's information, i don't use Zenworks. And neither does my wife.