I remember when being a pervert was a bad thing.
If you were warped, you tried to hide it, and good for you if you did. If you were going to polish your rod to autopsy photos or bugger a Shetland pony, you did it in the privacy of your own sick, sad home. No one else, especially not me, had to know, and that was great. The best part was, if you decided to crawl out on the roof and inform the neighborhood via midnight megaphone that being urinated on got you hot, you would be told, in no uncertain terms, how very diseased you were. Most people I know don't have too much trouble distinguishing between a "lifestyle choice" and a "warning sign." Yep, in many parts of the world, the idea of making love to Andy Panda is still regarded as somewhat misguided. Most parts, that is, except "Furry Fandom."
I don't know what the hell happened here.
"Live and Let Live" is an excellent, tree-hugging philosophy, but it doesn't do much when the ones you refuse to kill are dragging you down with them. If you like animal-based stories, cartoons, or art, you're a furry. And like it or not, "Furry" means "Pervert." This didn't come out of nowhere, either.
To me, and a lot of other people, "Furry" simply means a fondness for animal-human combinations in art, movies, books... whatever. If you're biased towards Redwall novels, have a soft spot for Anime "cat girls," or can't drag yourself away from "The Secret of NIMH," chances are excellent that you're at least *slightly* fur-inclined. That's pretty cool by me. The Simple Definition is probably what started "furry fandom" in the first place. But you would NOT believe some of the baggage the term "furry" has taken on.
The most obvious one so far would be suspicions of bestiality.
This wouldn't a problem if the furs that did it weren't so damn proud of it. For those of you that were out sick that day in Sex Ed class, DON'T FUCK YOUR PETS. Raping Fido is a 100% BAD IDEA. You're making us all look bad, Goddamit. Do you know what all the other fandoms.. Trekkies, X-Philes, Lovecrafters... call Furries? SKUNK-FUCKERS. And we have these morons to thank for it. "Zoophile" is a cute way of saying "I violate animals for sexual gratification." Period. It's not okay, It never was okay, and declaring yourself "furry" doesn't give you the right to insist that any level of bestiality is a part of the "furry experience."
Getting your rocks off on lower orders of the animal kingdom is bad enough without your partner being licensed by Disney.
Yes indeedy, as we descend just a step deeper into Hell, we stumble across the path of the Plushophile. That's shorthand for "I find this Meeko doll intensely erotic." These are the people who use FAO Schwartz as a singles bar. I don't know who decided that this was a valid excuse for a sex life, but he probably still lives in his mother's basement. You don't have to earn a degree in psychology to figure out how thickly laden with sexual dysfunction the very concept of Plushophilia is. How badly was your id stomped on to get you to the point where you would consider wanking a child's toy? I'm not sure I want to know. But I *DO* know Plushophiles have latched onto Furriness like a swamp leech. When people call furries "perverts," THIS is the kind of crap they're talking about.
Sigh... moving on.
Down, down, down we go... oh, look, the Seventh Level of Furry Hell. Furry Lifestylers.
Glee. We've got us some self-righteous little pokers down here. Ya see, just drawing cartoon animals or enjoying "Watership Down" doesn't make you furry. Nooooo, you're not GOOD enough. You're not furry if it's just a hobby. If you don't think you're the astrally projected soul of a wolf trapped in a human body, or you don't answer the phone with a "meow," you're not furry. Yep. Don't you feel terribly inferior now? Christ on a fire engine, what some people will try and force on you. I've always found the fact that 90% of Lifestylers consider themselves misplaced foxes, wolves, dragons, lions, tigers, or something equally powerful and noble, open to a special brand of mockery. Amazing coincidence how fantastically superior they all were in their animal lives, isn't it? Maybe if I occasionally came across a Lifestyler who claimed to be a reborn cockroach, I wouldn't be so cynical. I'm sure Freud would have a great, detailed explanation as to why people build up fantasy worlds for themselves like this, but I'm content to call these types Crackpots.
Slightly less obstinate but equally buttock-chafing are the the random groups who try their damndest to Super-glue a witch's brew of lycanthropy, shamanism, and veganism to a once-enjoyable subculture.
Don't misunderstand me; Werewolves are fun. Roll-playing a werewolf? Knock yourself out. Drawing werewolves? E-mail me some pointers, I can't do 'em to save my life. Claiming to BE a werewolf? SEEK HELP. You're not a werewolf. THERE ARE NO WEREWOLVES. Anyone who claims to turn into a giant dog at the whim of a celestial body should be mercilessly ostracized and laughed at with maximum cruelty.
Then there's the matter of Spirit Animals.
I don't have one. I don't want one, I don't need one. And according to some, that disqualifies me as a furry. Gee, didn't realize I had to realign my entire belief system to ensure acceptance into an already-decrepit fanbase. Once again, the question of personal tastes intruding on a once-meaningful practice comes to mind. You'll find a good thousand spastics claiming the protection of the Fox, But I've yet to hear a furry fan thank the Earwig Spirit for his wisdom. Yes, I'm taunting you. Cope.
And YES, there's even a special breed of nutboys out there who insist a major component of Furriness is the practicing of Veganism.
For those of you who don't live in California, that's the total shunning of all animal products. No eggs, no leather, no beef, no fish, no clubbing baby seals until their skulls are soft and dough-like. For reasons beyond my comprehension, THIS sort of self-denial is supposed to put you "more in touch with your furriness." God knows how. I've never seen a pride of lions abandon a mule carcass to chase down a fleeing herd of Garden Burgers. Animals have a strange way of mutilating OTHER animals. That's nature, welcome to it. And there's nothing more furry and natural than gnawing some flesh, kids. Human beings are omnivorous, and that means meat. If you don't believe me, fetch yourself a mirror and smile. See those pointy things? Canines. So enough with the tofu and bean sprouts, your Spirit Animals are laughing at you.
And finally, we confront the long-held notion that Furries secretly wish they WERE animals.
I'm sure there are some that do, but they're in the minority. Trust me. I'm rather fond of being a homo sapien. I've grown quite attached to the idea of opposable thumbs, full-color vision, and the dawning of self-awareness. Space travel, Chinese food, swing dancing... the perks ain't bad, either. No, I'm holding my own on this end of the evolutionary ladder, thank you. Most furries are. But for the poor shmucks who want nothing more than to transform into an elk or bear or something equally ridiculous, a stay in an institution, not a fandom, is in order.
Whew. I think I'm done for now. Any survivors, Alpha Team? Heh. If you've actually read this far, I must say I'm impressed. If I made you mad, good. If you agree with me, even better. Either way, I want to hear from you. Let me know what you think.
Any and all mail received may be posted and/or responded to at my discretion.
A MODEST PROPOSAL:
Okay... So by now, we all know I can complain. But I've always been a fan of the "Fix It or Shut Up" philosophy. Below is a small proposal as to how.
Furry Fandom is an embarrassment: There's no getting around that. But that doesn't mean it's beyond repair.
There was a time when the designation "Furry" didn't double for zoophile, plushophile, psychopath or naturist. It used to be fun, and people used to know *exactly* where you stood when you referred to yourself as a furry. But these days, people HATE being called as much. They cringe at the thought of being lumped together with the platoons of perverts who have decided to set up base camp under the guise of furrydom. A lot of cool people have dropped out of furriness altogether, rather than be associated with or pressured by these nutballs. (I STILL miss Abe Groter. Agony, agony...) I wrote this page as a response to the massive influx of support for the Furry Manifesto; Maybe there's hope for us after all. :) Furriness needs fixing, and I think I may have an idea.
It's not enough to distance ourselves from the previously mentioned drooling maniacs.
Even if , by some miracle, the masses rose up and managed to expel every last wacko from the fanbase, the name "furry" has taken on connotations it will likely never shake. Common sense decrees a secession is in order. A subset needs forming; a group of furry-types who want to make their interest known, without being associated with the twitching crack babies and their crazed notions. I did a little brainstorming, and came up with this.
The name has a double meaning. Non-psycho furs can be called "Burned," because anyone with a firm grasp on reality would clearly feel slighted by the screamingly deviant direction the fandom has taken. Another way of looking at it is the example made of furs who have spoken up against fandom perversion and been "burned at the stake" for it. Eric Blumrich is the best example. There are others, of course. Once the Manifesto is posted to alt.lifestyle.furry, I'll probably end up being one of them.
Burned Furs would be defined as furs who aren't insane.
Simple enough. It you've ever lusted after a German Shepherd, own a harem of Care Bears, or consider yourself a reincarnated unicorn, you don't qualify. Burned Furs are furries who are tired of being associated with lunatics, and should make sure they're heard.
Being a Burned Fur would be easy, I imagine; simply replace any mention of "furry" in your vocabulary with "Burned furry." If people ask what the hell you're talking about, explain.
"Hi, I'm Squee Rat! I'm a burned furry, and I run the Circus Sideshow."
See? Doesn't hurt. And if this concept works, everyone immediately identifies you with the saner faction of furrydom. "BFs" could say as much on their web pages, MUCK descriptions, convention badges... Hell, it could be a sub-subculture. :) Nifty, huh? BurnCon might be a year or two away. Ya never know.