My question here isn't too important, so feel free to put more important ones forward. This is just a curious question that I was wondering what your thoughts were.
Anyway, over the weekend, I attended a small furry party with some good friends. Eventually, conversation turned to how I want to move in with my best furiend and his polygamous mate come next year for class. I believe it will benefit all of us as they would get a larger area and much more opportunities for job markets as well, but they're still a bit hesitant. Another friend chimed in and began to talk about living in communities or apartment complexes, and eventually the conversation effectively turned into creating an all-furry community living together in a fenced in area. My friend and I were quick to point out similarities to nudist colonies and sex offender communities.
Now while the thought is somewhat appealing and my friends all seemed to show enthusiasm for such an idea to the point of developing other ideas which I'll explain later. However, I have my doubts. I'm not sure that creating such a community is wise as it effectively closes off the group from surrounding communities and becomes somewhat of an oddity. People tend to make fun of nudist colonies and avoid sexual offender communities with strict reasons. I'm not sure that would be healthy for the fandom much at all. The community, in my thoughts, would become an oddity, something to avoid and to poke fun at while holding interest for a while, but not inviting much variation.
The next idea to mutate from the community was a furry mansion that would be funded by kick starter and work like the "Big Brother" TV show that aired on MTV to gain money and donations from TV or Internet networks. Everyone also seemed rather enthusiastic about that idea as well, but again I was quick to question it. I would think doing that would make everyone involved into a spectacle. Actions change in front of cameras and boring actions turn people off. This would effectively turn the fandom (or at least the people involved and the fandom to people dim witted enough to associate those people with eye entirety of the fandom) into entertainment and possibly a joke. People want to be entertained. They want fights, sex, and drama, and based on the people involved... it just wouldn't work out well for everyone, I would think. I don't want to be connected with "Furry Jersey Shore" and I don't want to see my friends involved with that either.
The last idea to evolve, that sparked a very very long conversation about how it would be done, was building an off-the-grid furry community from the ground up in the wilderness and turn it into it's own, stable entity with farming and such, removed from society as much as possible. Basically, it would be built as a dome structure and also funded via kick starter. The plan is to span 25 acres with included farmland as far away from society as possible. This also doesn't sit well with me. Again, it's closing off the group from expansion and creating an oddity. Talk about similarities to M. Night Shymalan's (however you spell that name) "The Village" arose and I just felt even more turned off and worried about the plans for it. Apparently, floor plans are being written up and shared. I'm still very unsure and wary of the idea, even if building is a possibility, it just doesn't sit right. I'm all for creating a close-knit community, but I feel society is needed. I know I don't speak for everyone, but I don't really want to be a farmer, I'm majoring in microbiology. My friend has a degree in English and the other in game design. I know it all depends on what the person wants, but it still just doesn't feel right and bothers me somewhat.
Well this turned out to be a little weird and awkward to talk about. Maybe it's just me, but thinking critically about the ideas, I seriously think they are all mistakes. I could be wrong, but I'm just curious. What do you think, Papabear? I'd love to hear your take on this.
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This is an interesting mental exercise, but Papabear agrees with you that the ideas you and your friends were discussing are both impractical and unrealistic. I can see where they would have a broad appeal from furries who would like to escape from mundane society and exist in some kind of idealistic commune a la the 1960s Hippie era, but I am with you on this: it won’t work. Not only will it not work, but it is just a bad idea. Let’s go over the suggestions. . . .
The first proposal is to create some kind of fenced-off commune community analogous to a nudist colony (I don’t really like the idea of comparing this to a sex offender community, which is rather insulting because it implies we are pariahs). Of the ideas presented, this is the most feasible if the notion is to just have a bunch of furries in the same apartment building or condo association, perhaps. The difficulty here would be to manage to find such a building where you could find enough available apartments or other living quarters. Unless you all move into a new building that has yet to be rented out or sold, it would be very difficult to do. If you’re talking about finding some land, fencing it in, and living there, again, how would you manage to buy that amount of land? Who will finance it and build the structures, fencing, and supply the water and electricity and gas you might need? Or, are we talking about a more rustic feel where you are all camping and getting water from a stream or well (and then you really need to worry about monitoring water cleanliness) and maybe generating power from windmills and solar? Again, a big up-front investment. Or are you willing to live like pioneers? Building latrines and relying on candles and fires for heat and cooking and light? Somehow, I don’t find typical furries, with their addiction to the Internet and computer games, living so Spartanly. You will feel very isolated in your fenced-in community, indeed. Finally, there’s the drama issue, which furries are noted for. Who will be in charge of this community? How will you select leaders? Will it be a democratic society? If so, how will you run elections etc.? What a can of worms that will open up!
Your next idea involves getting some sort of TV company interested in funding your little venture. Problem #1 would be that, even if you got this going somehow, the producers would be picking the furries they wanted in the show and everyone else would be SOL. Then, as you state, they will want drama. Now, not a thing hard to generate among furries, but that will just result in competitions and hurt feelings, tearing apart whatever feeling of community you might have had. As you said, do you really want to be a furry version of “Jersey Shore”? Finally, what do you do when between seasons? How about after the show is cancelled, as it eventually would be even if it were a success. Bad plan.
Next idea was having a kind of commune set up, which is rather similar to idea #1. The extremely naive notion here is that you will miraculously be able to get it funded by a kickstarter. Now, for readers who don’t know what that is, a kickstarter is a program funded by investors usually to fund some kind of artistic project, such as a filmmaking venture. Ultimately, the kickstarter investors will want to see a return on their investment. What sort of ROI are they going to see from furries? A bunch of you dancing around nude on some farmland? A documentary of your venture? Some furry art? Hate to break it to your friends, but ain’t gonna happen—not on this planet, anyway.
All of these ideas, even disregarding their impracticality regarding finances etc., are wrong-headed. Papabear realizes that furries often feel alienated from the rest of society and wouldn’t it be lovely if we could set up our own kind of furtopia? But instead of separating ourselves from society and making us even more a target of suspicion and paranoia by mundanes, we should be trying everything we can to gain acceptance by society at large, just as people in the LGBT community have been trying to do for years, and, before that, all the brave people who fought for civil rights for minorities (although those struggles have been hugely more difficult and even lethal than anything furries have ever faced, so that’s really an unfair comparison).
Happiness and freedom are not found by running away from the world. They can only be found by confronting society head-on. And Papabear is completely on your side on this one, DT.
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