Last week I posted this letter about the idea of some furries forming a community. While I have serious doubts of the practicality of furries creating a functioning, economically independent community, Papabear does still maintain that furries do form at least an ersatz community, one very loosely organized, but still a community. One furry posted a response, however, that I find quite disturbing, especially since I have been hoping to form an organization of furries.
I am posting the letter here. This furry--well, not even sure if this is from a furry—has a very negative opinion of furries. My concern is this: how prevalent is this opinion? Do YOU feel this way? Do a lot of furries feel this way? If so, then any efforts toward creating the AFA would be utterly futile.
Do you feel like you're part of a community or not? Please post your opinions following this letter. Thank you.
I can't believe that NO ONE MENTIONED that being a furry is simply a matter of self-declaration and how this complete lack of control over who gets to be a furry -- a precedent set from the fandom's infancy -- would throw a whole pile of monkey wrenches into any plans for a "furry community". Furry fandom indiscriminately imports personalities with diametrically opposed and incompatible values, ethics, outlooks, and attitudes. Included in the mix are sociopaths with serious character defects, but you can't kick them out because the fandom is a nerd herd and therefore overcompensates societal rejection with all-encompassing unconditional inclusivity. Furry is based off an infatuation with anthropomorphic animals. That shared value is superficial. As such, one is, unfortunately, NOT necessarily more likely to find "kindred spirits" within the fandom as without it. People are wildly different. Anthros mean different things to them. Think about Na'vi, Otherkin, Therians, plushies, rule 34, fursuiters, murrsuiters, gigglefairy sparkledogs, My Little Pony, foxes and wolves, videogamers, centaurs, Nazi furs, weres, haunted attraction furs, adult babyfurs, (oh hell, I'm not itemizing all the sub-fetishes that can go in conjunction with furry), Sonic fans, TMNT, (oh hell, insert a list of all the cartoon shows' and werewolf movies' fanbases, yada yada), daddy furs, civilized noble savage furs, con-goers, trans-humanists, Christian, (oh fuck, tack on a list of all the religions too -- including atheism), gay, bi, straight, asexual (LGBTQIAlphabet soup), lulz troll furries, imageboard furries and MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE -- including those aspects of furry that do not wish to be defined or sub-categorized and remain stubbornly nebulously uncodified. None of which even begins to describe all the FAR MORE IMPORTANT DEEPER MERITS AND FLAWS to consider in selecting fellow tribes-people in a proposed budding "furry" community that these people's individual moral compasses or lack thereof (regardless of whatever combination of sub-sub-sub-subcultures they ascribe to) could have carried them off to. So to sit these people down, who in truth have little in common and little interest in each other, and say, "Okay, here's a system of rules we need to play by to function as a community", misses the point by a factor of 9,000. Furry isn't a community. There may be communities within furry, but furry is not and cannot be a community as a whole. Communities start with shared values, ideals, and even aesthetics (the images and interactions with reality people want to associate with). If you want to start a community with those aspects of the fandom that are even remotely-possibly capable of it, starting with the love of animal people is a POOR CHOICE. Intentional communities crave balanced and stable ethos, pathos, and logos that justifies the investment of faith, hard work, and sacrifice that goes into creating and maintaining them. That goes far beyond the childish things of a protracted childhood that furry is mostly comprised of. Furries don't even really have an identity as evidenced by the multitudinous different responses by asking any one of them, "What is a furry?" So how do you propose to make a community out of a people that aren't even a tribe, or profoundly disinterested in such by their simple natures, if you will?
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Your argument seems to be that we can't have a furry community because we are too diverse. By that same logic, the United States should not exist because we have people of too many races, religions, political beliefs, etc. I believe that any group of people can come together if they find a unifying cause.
* * *
The writer returned, saying:
That's the point. Communities have unifying causes and codes. The U.S. is a superpower nation with solemn oaths and duties, a legal system, and constitution, so the comparison to furry fandom, which has none of those things (and lacks untold more in such a comparison), is laughable and invalid. I'm shocked you would dare compare the two.
I'm not talking about making the fandom into a nation. I'm talking about how the anti-structure of the fandom, through the malfeasance of enforced amorality, prevents it from forming so much as a simple single functioning HOUSE -- though blind people still treat it as such (much to their own detriment).
The fandom IS highly entropic. No one can MAKE a TANGIBLE community (Internet community doesn't count) out of the fandom (or anything else outside of junk merchandise to hawk).
As you all have already agreed upon the prior sentence in an earlier reply to another.
I'm saying the REASONS for that intangibility are: as soon as anyone says, "Furry is THIS." or "It's NOT THAT." in the attempt to create the causes for forming a standard to create structure for the impetus of a real community, they are instantaneously WRONG and abruptly called out on their bullshit because NO ONE gets that kind of authority to say what is and isn't allowed to be a part of furry fandom.
Furry fandom IS different from other fandoms because people within it do treat it like a community and welfare network. The problem is, they don't exercise any standards or structure, and are quite opposed to the idea, which attracts exploitative personalities like flies to a corpse. Not to mention the fandom is, consequently, not exactly conducive to life aspirations; absent of the hallmark of value of a true community. If this fandom is supposed to run like a community, as many of its motley crew of undisciplined, directionless, and many times, amoral members intend, its current state would be best likened unto a poorly run frat house. At best.
As for inclusivity: we're all excited to meet new peoples and new ways of doing things. The ironic hypocrisy is that different cultures came about through having different standards that made them interesting and unique. The negative value of indiscriminate inclusivity is that it destroys the standards of judgement of what to include and not include in a culture that makes it unique. Bring everyone in under One Big Tent(tm), regardless of what they can do, under a unifying cause, and more often than not, you may be unintentionally describing a con game.
Keep it real. You can have either indiscriminate quantity or discriminating quality (or both, if you employ shrewd Machiavellian techniques and divide them into layers and use one as a readily disposable shield to protect the more valuable other). Discrimination is not always evil: only when it's prejudiced is discrimination wrong. When you're at the supermarket determining which produce is green, ripe, and rotten, you're engaging in a form of discrimination. Tribe-selecting can, honestly, be analogous to selecting produce based on prospects' values, attitudes, and life choices. When selecting members of a community, it's important to discriminate APPROPRIATELY for its survival and ability to thrive.
I'm sure that to spend so much time wasting so many words describing a fandom about anthropomorphism will be seen as stupid by those not pressed against the fandom's glass ceiling dividing fantasy from reality. That's because the (un)imaginative minds of the lowest common denominator goes nowhere else but straight to raping targets incapable of consent as soon as the idea of real world anthro community is mentioned and are quick to either break out the torches or start humping -- or both. If people are SERIOUS about creating a furry community, the reason it is neigh impossible is due to the shallow parameters they've set for what being a furry means, and the lowest common denominators -- neither fit to lead or follow nor walk hand in hand -- that inhabit the fandom as result.
Construction is not impossible under the strictest definition, but remember that communities are held together by the glue of ideology. Be prepared to invest tons of psychic energy within the internal worlds of yourself and your members to bail out and rise above the muck and set up a defensive perimeter around whatever little corner of this surprisingly very malevolent swamp you're intending to haunt.
Thanks, in no small part, to the non-definition of furry, IT'S NOT JUST THE "NON-FURRIES" YOU HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT.
10/30/2013 05:05:15 am
Wow I can't believe an opinion letter turned into this. O.=.o
I responded in the thread, I'll add a response here.
11/16/2013 11:26:32 am
Dan the bear
10/30/2013 02:11:11 pm
Well, i think this person has got a very lmited vision about what a fandom is. Maybe he has been in to super organized comunities, where everybody look like clones. To start, the furry is a sub culture, wich means it includes all kind of expressions. Like in many subcultures and urban tribes, you can find all kind of individuals, from those who embrace with passion the fandom, taking it to extremes, to people who just enjoy some parts of it, that fulfills their needs and they still feel lart of the comunity.
10/30/2013 08:28:46 pm
Wow, that was quite a reading. hum.
10/31/2013 04:47:59 am
(Forgive me for not reading your guys' comments yet)
11/1/2013 09:50:47 am
I would disagree with the letter writer that we don't have an underlying interest that unites us. You don't get over 5000 people to Pittsburgh every year without something in common, that commonality being an interest in anthropomorphic animals.
11/2/2013 06:00:14 pm
Yes, the furry fandom does suck this much. It enables use, and abuse, of others. It actively promotes xenophobia, while loudly proclaiming to be "all inclusive". There have been several articles published in this very column that are excellent examples of this.
11/18/2013 12:18:08 pm
You are such a dramatic person. Now tell me Mr. "Former Fur", you are arguing that the Fandom enables the use and abuse of others and actively promotes xenofhopia (hmm interesting thing) where in the hell you get that? Personnal experiences? Cmon! That´s Bullshit! Prove me that Im wrong! Because my experiences with other furs were no like that. One thing that is true is that ive seen how some furries treat other furries like if they were garbage BUT just in rare ocassions."The reality is that these groups exist simply as separate entities claiming a common "kinship". OF COURSE, like in other groups, fandoms, communities, etcetera, in each organisation there the called subgroups, which is a common thing and it makes the furdom more "diverse" and despite the variety of values, beliefs, hobbies or whatever you would like to add, the Furry Fandom, since it was created, had been in function (maybe in not the best way) and so on. One of my reasons why I joined the fandom its cause I can express myself without being crticized my way of how am I. One last thing that I would like to add is this fragment of your comment that left me thinking: "Basically, I grew up, realized the harm furry fandom does to those who remain a part of it, and got out. I only found out about this column because I know a few people who have not yet escaped. Some of them are slowly waking up. For others, I can only shake my head as I watch the slow train wreck furry fandom is making of their lives" What I understood is that the Furry Fandom its a childish stuff that HARMS (thing that I consider absolutely false) for those who remain on it and "ruins" lifes.
11/16/2013 11:23:21 am
Particularly in certain younger furry circles, I've noticed that it is somewhat *en vogue* to complain about about how terrible, gross, creepy, and dysfunctional furries are. (It reminds me somewhat of how SomethingAwful goons will often grouse and sneer about the general awfulness of goons.)
8/12/2014 04:47:06 am
I'd say the best way to do it is to just make a community of subcommunities. Like states in a nation. Each state has it's own likes and values, and attracts those with the same, while remaining more or less independent from other communities while still falling under the definition of being furry.
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