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Video: National Geographic profiles fursuiters on 'Taboo'

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (8 votes)

Nat Geo sees fursuiting as a fit subject for Taboo, according to this three-minute preview:

The program spins furries as "people who enjoy wearing animal costumes in their adult life", calling the behaviour "bizarre", and quoting regular media commentator Dr. Sudeepta Varma:

Furries can be considered greatly taboo because we look at people dressing up in furry costumes as child's play, and it's something that should have been left in the past, and not brought into adulthood.

Update (24 Dec): The episode is to air January 3 at 9PM Eastern, and again at midnight. [cloudchaser_s/furrymedia]

One fursuiter profiled on the show is Nuka (Courtney Plante), a social psychology graduate student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

When I'm Courtney, I'm shy, I'm nervous, I don't like having a lot of attention on me . . . Courtney is the stressed-out grad student trying to work on a PhD. I prefer being Nuka - he's mischievious and playful and silly, and when I'm in my fursona I don't mind people looking at me, I don't mind people looking at me, I'm OK with being the center of attention, I don't feel so embarrassed to have people's eyes on me.

If I got a pair of ears and a tail on, or if I'm wearing my collar, or I'm in the mindset of Nuka, I'll run up to a group of people and be really enthusiastic, I engage with people a lot more.

AlkaneOther furs appearing include Talarus (as Bebop) and fox/dragon/plant Alkane (Eric):

You think you're a furry, you feel like a furry, you're a furry. Like any other subculture, we come together because we have this common interest.

Also quoted is bioethicist Peter Singer (whose other views were touched on in a recent review):

It's considered strange for grown men and women to dress up as furry animals because most adults can't relate to people who want to do that.

The show estimates that there are "up to a million" furries, citing unnamed research to say that "up to 85% believe they're not entirely human" (presumably that of Nuka's collaborator, Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, whose team has regularly surveyed Anthrocon in recent years).

National Geographic Channel is a joint venture of the National Geographic Society and Fox/News Corp.

Update (20 Dec): Ocean – another fur included in the show – has given more background on the shooting of the episode (registration required), and reports that it will be about "double lives", possibly also including footage of real-life superheroes and phone sex operators.

Comments

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Oh God...

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It looks to be the usual mix of exuberant fursuiters and 'concerned' science commentators; careful never to discuss their own opinions, just those picked by whoever's paying them. (Ironically, the fursuiter is far better-placed to give such commentary.)

Oh well. At least the furries got their say, and they're not being compared to people who eat couch cushions. Yet.

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*sighs* I'm nervous already. They got most of our numbers wrong >.<' On the plus side, I suppose it could have been FAR far worse >.>' At least they didn't ask us about yiffing or anything like that x.x'

I remain cautiously optimistic. We'll look a bit weird, but, well, furries are a bit weird =P Aside from getting some of our numbers wrong, it's not too bad =P

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Is there a projected air-date for this?

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I do not recall the exact answer but the idea that 85% think they are not human quite human is a tad high.
The bigger lesson is Mr Kage and others strategy of telling others furs not to talk to the media is impractical, due to the law averages. With in a wide community of furries in the tens of thousands the media will find one fur who will talk.

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Now his strategy is to talk with the media before others do it seems. 2's response to this at MFF was "I don't see why we have to explain ourselves to anyone." On the surface that's a very populist response and certainly an "us vs THEM" thought process which many could agree with. We should be free to do as we wish as long as no one is hurt in the process.

However, it's not "THEM" that we should want to explain ourselves to, it is the "US" who do not exist yet and may not know about the fandom that they'd be very interested in themselves. Without people seeing us, they can never choose to be one of us.

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Very well put, Sonious. =)

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I will admit that nearly every convention I go to, I meet someone who found out about the fandom through CSI.

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Oh, please.

We're guesstimating a million furries, which amonuts to one million people accomplishing jack squat. I don't see what 1,000,001 is goingto change.

The problem is not bad publicity. The problem is there is nothing in this piece that shows anything I give a crp about as a furry. I DON,T CARE IF I look like an idiot if it got one cartoon made, but nobody outside the fandom has any clue cartoons are important to us.

Seriously guys, if somebody asks about fursuits or spirit animals or something you don't w give a crap about, tell them so.

We've got enough people. We have the media's attention. It is unavoidable. We're going tohave to deal with nonfurries who will remain nonfurries, and that's okay.

We're not a cult. We don't recruit.

They want our story. Really badly. We have the power over them. We can literally say we'll give you a fursuit, but you have to run art, or no story. And they will run whatever art you give them because they want that fursuit so bad they can taste it.

Finally, if you use The Brave Little Toaster as your example of furry, you suck.

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We're not a cult. We don't recruit.

I dunno, I've always thought that "Furries: We Recruit" would make a great demotivator meme.

You're right about the "really badly" part - the production crew got turned down by at least two conventions.

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Well,what are we recruiting for?

I'm assuming it's a "more people I can pretend are my friends" thing.

Because we're not doing anything but throwing more conventions. If all you guys really want to do is throw awkward nerd parties, the talking animal thing is not really necessary, and just gets my hopes up.

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Mo' people, mo' market. Artists of all kinds are starting to be able to make a living out of this . . . heck, a few people are even making money off writing about anthropomorphic animals. (Not just for children, that is.)

As a result, the quality is improving at the top end. This benefits everyone in the fandom.

There's also stuff like Bitter Lake. Sure, I know it wasn't quite to your taste, but it shows awareness for and an attempt to cater to a market. I doubt it'll be the last feature film made for furries.

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I don't remember actually being on the record one way or another about Bitter Lake's quality.

Once again the problem is we're not making any contribution to society with our art. The mainstream has no idea of the existence of a Xian Jaguar or a tailsrulz, and they would probably enjoy them. What we have is a mainstream where furry equals fursuit, not actual furry art.

If the market for furry art is only furries, that sucks. Partially because the artists are deprived of wider exposure, partially because the wider world is deprived of something amazing.

The only legitimate way to create new fans is to give them something to be fans of. Right now, you have to be a furry fan to gain access to truly furry content.

When I said in my Furreh Nuuz Teevee review, I believe in furry I meant it, but I meant the artform, not t the fandom, who have done there darndest to make sure furry art never leaves the ghetto. The reason I don't believe in furries is because they have told me furry art has no appeal. In other words, they don't believe in furry.

If you believe furry art has so little appeal only Internet nerds that the other Internet nerds make fun of can like it, what are you doing here, besides pretending to have a social life at conventions?

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I got the impression that you'd have preferred animated talking animals; I could be wrong.

Furries are fans of anthropomorphic animals. However, there are clearly a lot of people out there who don't yet know they are furries (or that the fandom exists). Growing the market doesn't require making new people like anthropomorphic animals, but making those who already do aware of its existence.

To this end, you could view fursuiters as the people standing outside a store in an animal costume; they are there to attract attention, and hopefully some of the people they reach are interested in what's on sale.

I think the consistent growth of the fandom indicates that these people are being reached. The process could be accelerated, but I don't see the need to build great works to "convince" those on the edge. Similarly, while I enjoy the genre, I do not see it as inherently better than any other genre which people may enjoy already.

If there is something I believe in, then it is that the furry sense of community is worth spreading. Of course, to join, initiates must don ears and tail, swear an oath, and be glomped by a horde of fursuiters. You have to have some rites.

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You just equated being a furry with being a fursuiter.

Don't force your views, please.

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In case you didn't realize, I was joking in that last paragraph.

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You are right; I did not :D

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You forgot the part about devirgination by furpile.

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Okay, you guessed right about Bitter Lake, but shhh. This is the stuff I was freaking out about in October.

We are selling different things. Not literally, of course, but I am trying to sell the art, while you are trying to sell the community. In your line "Growing the market doesn't require making new people like anthropomorphic animals, but making those who already do aware of its existence," it is the fandom. If I were to write the sentence, it would be the art.

If you want a sense of community, Green Reaper, join a church. Or a gang. Seriously, "sense of community" is not exactly a hard thing to find.

You know what's hard to find? A new good funny animl movie. So this year we got fantastically lucky and had Rango and Kung Fu Panda 2 and the majority of animated movies featured anthropomorphic animal characters. But it was a fluke year. Looking back, we had Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009 and Kung Fu Panda in 2008, and that was about it for the last decade in funny animals. Looking ahead to next year, um, nothing doing.

The reason I want to build great works is not as a means to such a paltry end as community building, especially when the community is already built, as you so adequately point out.

The reason I want to build great works is because I want to build great works. And if the only people who recognize the greatness of the works are people who routinely vote there major literature award to gay porn most gay men couldn't jack off to, well, that's a bit disappointing.

Oh, and Merry Christmas, by the way.

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Next year's "Koochie Koochie Hota Hai" feature looks plenty funny-animal. Here is its trailer, in English for a Hindi movie. http://bollywood.celebden.com/2010/02/koochie-koochie-hota-hai-theatrical-trailer/

Fred Patten

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In the same way you tell GreenReaper he can go elsewhere to find a sense of community, you could go elsewhere to find people to help you make a great work. It is not like furries are the only people that will use anthropomorphic animals in media. Different people want different things out of the fandom, and likewise different people will come to it for different reasons. While encouraging others or trying to seek out subsets with similar goals is one thing, acting like something is wrong with everyone else that doesn't have the same interest isn't going to help you find what you want. And it will look especially selfish if suggesting those other people go elsewhere because you want the fandom to be busy sating your desire for anthro movies...

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Well, I don't know, calling yourself a "fandom" I.e. people who give crap about something, in furry's case allegedly anthropomorphic animals, and then saying "actually, we don't really have to give a crap about anthropomorphic animals" is false advertising.

You're right though; expecting furries to accomplish anything worthwhile is asking for disappointment. Pray the minstream throws you a bone, because furries not only don't care about what their freaking name implies they care about, they also get butthurt when anybody suggests maybe they should.

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Why do you jump from the idea that people may want different things from the fandom to "they don't give a crap about anthro animals"? It is almost like you are saying if the fandom doesn't channel its energy into suiting your particular whims, it has no worth and doesn't count as "giving a crap."

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Why is the guy apparently satisfied with everything about furry telling the guy who's needs are not being met to stop being selfish?

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Never implied being completely satisfied with the fandom. But when I am not satisfied with a particular aspect, I don't assume that means everyone else doesn't give a crap about anthro animals. I don't assume that only the things I want are worthwhile, as if there is some centralised set of priorities that happen to align with exactly what I want more of.

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Darn, dude, I don't think Festivus has an official date yet, but if I remember correctly, part of the festivities include the "airing of the grievances."

Missed an opportunity, man.

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Ooh! I'll get the Festivus Pole! It's made out of brushed aluminum. Steve Jobs would be so proud!

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Furries are fans of anthropomorphic works. It is not surprising that most do not seek to become professional artists, writers or filmmakers themselves; what's rare about furry is that so many do, despite the obvious costs and risks associated with that choice.

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I'm sorry, but the "professionals" right now are only taking advantage of the fandom; nothing is leaving. Its a feedback loop, and its why the artform is pretty stagnate.

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How is this different from any other fandom? Even if furries were a large enough market segment they could float or sink a mainstream movie, why would the movie producers do much different if they know furries will already watch just about any movie that has anthropomorphised animals in it? A lot of the time a movie tries to reach out to the appropriate fandom is to drum up PR, and a lot of the remaining times it is because someone high up in the production originally came from that fandom.

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You make this place more interesting than it otherwise would be.

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Seriously, "sense of community" is not exactly a hard thing to find.

I always have things to talk about with furries. There are communities for people who like hitting balls, or fast cars, or the concept of an all-powerful deity, but I'm not interested in those.

You know what's hard to find? A new good funny animal movie.

I don't disagree, but you may be looking to the wrong people to create it.

Are the fans of great works the same people who create them? Not typically. Most furries are not capable of animation, any more than most video gamers are capable of creating World of Warcraft.

However, fandoms remain important for the creation of such great works. Say an animation director is a big fan of anthropomorphic animals. Can they justify doing a furry flick to their company's shareholders? Only with a market.

Furry fandom is an ever-growing sign of that market, and if you are interested in getting great works built, supporting its growth makes sense. Just don't expect it to be much help if you're trying to make one yourself.

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The problem is that the community is only talking about the community. When I wrote about the art, in October, there were no replies at all. When I wrote about the art in May, I was told to shut my mouth. When furries are interviewed by mainstream media, they talk about themselves, not the art.

The idea that fans don't produce works is a myth as well. H.P. Lovecraft became an adjective while maintaining a prodigious amount of fan community leter correspondence. This is not an isolated incident; science fiction is fan based literature.I had

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Ooops...

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Okay, sorry, I can not do this on a cell phone any longer, especially with a pair of brothers home for the holidays distracting me. I told them I was arguing on the Internet, and they told me to tell you to eat a bag of dicks, but that doesn't seem very constructive, and also something you probably shouldn't tell your editor. Where were we?

The other problem with the furry fandom that doesn't have to do with an overriding sense of community first, community second, community third, something else fourth, I forget what, but anyway, community last, too, is that despite the fact that the furry fandom is growing, the furry fandom's visibility is still very limited.

If you've got a million furries and they are all adhering to a policy of don't ask, don't tell outside of the fandom, well, size matters, but not as much here as in other areas.

I listened to Kung Fu Panda 2's audio commentary, and guess what fandom wasn't mentioned? Again. I'm sorry, but an audio commentary for a movie that has had a built in fanbase since the 1980s should acknowledge it. There are two possible explanations for this apparent snub; either the fanbase is an embarassment the filmmakers don't want to acknowledge it (which is a possibility I can't rule out), or the filmmakers are still unaware of our existence.

Actually, I would bet most of the filmmakers are aware of furries, but they are probably unaware of the fact that, theoretically, anyway, we're fans of the genre. And, actually, given the lack of interest I have seen expressed for the genre among furries (I have been called on the carpet for saying furries might enjoy a movie with talking animals THREE FREAKING TIMES this year), "theoretically" might be a bit strong. "Hypothetically" might be more accurate.

Okay, I just interrupted myself. I was interrupted by my brothers. They used my name and the word fox in a sentence together in a blatant attempt to distract me, so this isn't exactly optimum conditions for a perfectly written out argument.

What I was trying to say was that "furry=fursuit" right now, at least to the world at large. Not to disparage fursuiters, I'm totally jealous, is all. But we're killing the art in a very real sense.

Look, what needs to happen is the next time the media comes calling, furries need to improve there communication skills, is what I'm really saying. Most furries are too darn afraid to talk to the media for various reasons (hurting the "community" is one, though I've even literally heard "I'm afraid I'll be laughed at!"), and when they do, they allow the media to control the message. If the media wants furry, I say, give them furry! Which is more than fursuits; in other words, bring the fursuit to get the cameras rolling, and then spring the art on them.

AND THEN MAYBE SOMEBODY WHO CAN DO SOMETHING WILL SEE IT AND GO, HEY, THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING I CAN SELL.

The main problem is just plain cowardice. Furries are scared that exposure may be negative. I've got news; there will be negative coverage, people will laugh at us, but the rewards are worth it. If people learn about furry from the episode of CSI, imagine what would happen if they learned about furry from something that doesn't suck!

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Agree with you 100%.

Pretty much everyone else doesn't.

Life is gray.

You can start crying now.

;_;

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It's okay, my brothers are going to show me a video of a guy being bit by a cobra.

That should cheer me up.

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Try this instead:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fvc4ZVugdQ

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Actually, Mister Twister, I was just thinking ... YOU were one of the people who called me to task on promoting a talking animal movie. Way back in May, with the Kung Fu Panda 2 review.

You called me a Nazi, if I remember correctly.

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I change a lot with very little time.

Either I got a buttload wiser, or had a really good reason to write that.

Either way, I don't remember.

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they allow the media to control the message

The media already is in a position of control if they can choose who and what to quote. It is not up to an individual furry to give or take that control of the message unless they are dealing with a decent, professional staff that does a good job of passing on their message. It is difficult to figure out ahead of time if your message will get through, or get messed up (whether twisted on purpose, or just butchered through lack of understanding). Many question how much benefit there would be to positive coverage anyway, so the potential reward starts looking worse than the potential risk, especially considering how a segment of furries will treat someone martyred by bad coverage. And yet, when it comes to less risky coverage like local news, it seems there are quite a few furries willing to trust them and help.

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The CSI episode was not that bad.

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Admittedly, nobody wants to join the fandom with the guy who was poisoned, abandoned in the middle of a desert in a latex-and-fur combo, shot and run over by a car. And to top it off, nobody seemed to care the poor bastard was gone; the previously scheduled orgy went on without him, because apparently nobody noticed when he didn't show up.

Not exactly an accurate portrayal of furry's "sense of community."

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Fair enough, but you also think that community within this fandom isn't what's important, isn't that correct?

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Funny thing; just got done reading the latest furry survey results (okay, I admit, just got done skimming the latest furry survey results) and one thing that struck me was how the survey said the more a part of the furry community a furry is, the less goal-oriented they tend to be, which, in hindsight, yeah, no fucking shit.

This kinda, sorta explained one area where I was a confused; my goals were synergystic with goals of community building, which is what I believed the average furry's goal was. However, the survey results seem to reveal that the average furry has no particular goals for furry whatsoever. In other words, while I don't think I can say the survey results show furries are actively against my goals, they do show that trying to light a fire under a furry's ass to get all inspired about stuff is pretty darn hard.

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Or maybe the idea of recruiting is not about how it helps us, but about how it helps the potential "recruits." It is about making sure people who have a potential interest in such things know where to find it, and know they can like it without being a freak or jumping into the deep-end. It can be pretty simple and not self-serving to those already here.

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It really depends on the circumstances and exactly what media you are dealing with. If the media are approaching it with vague curiosity or confusion, then a informed, well spoken fur could go a long ways. On the other hand, if they are trying to push a specific image and sensationalism, then the deck is really stacked against you. The best case scenario is you say nothing wrong and nothing that can be edited to get what they want, in which case they will just not use any material you give them (I remember a radio show discussing furries once rejecting some friends calling in for being "too boring" within a few seconds of talking to the telephone operator). In the same sense that there are enough furries out there to find one that will talk, if they have a specific message in mind, they will find someone to say it, either directly or with editing. If they are going to give their message regardless of what you do, the question then becomes is it going to be your face on their message? Not that judging which way a given researcher is going a priori is easy.

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Action - you're quite right: Our research suggests that about 20-25% of furries report some feelings of being not-human (not 85%). Additionally, 50% of furries say that they would like to be non-human. (Source:
http://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/past-results/international-... )

I do agree a lot with what Kage says about media exposure, in particular circumstances. Standing outside of Anthrocon, it's probably a bad idea to run up to a camera and say "Hey, guess what, we don't have sex in fursuits!" However, my decision to be in this episode was something I put a LOT of thought about (I wrestled with it for weeks beforehand and, to be honest, I've been terrified about the response to it ever since). To be honest, I think it looks promising, and I'm hoping it will be some of the better coverage the fandom has gotten *crosses fingers* Have the folks at Taboo made a few mistakes stats-wise? Yeah... but to me it's not a SUPER huge misrepresentation of the fandom. They're getting it at least somewhat right, and if nothing else, they're getting the spirit of the fandom right (we tend to be playful and silly, we're not crazy or delusional... we're people who, for the most part, like to have fun and be kinda silly).

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If they are estimating up to 85% don't consider themselves fully human then that is a huge misrepresentation. It suggests most furries are totally out of touch with reality. But your source had 75% saying they were completely human. Another furry survey had 60% consider themselves completely human, lower but still nowhere near what the show is saying. (http://www.klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey.php) That point there is just sloppy work that does undermine confidence in the entire show.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Agreed, Rakuen, and I tried my best to give them every stat and number we had available so they could get it right. I guess I'm saying "I tried my best". On the plus side, if people are going to have misconceptions about the fandom, I'd rather they be on the subject of whether 25, 40 or 85% of furries believe they are part animal, as opposed to being on the subject of whether we have sex in fursuits -_-' It's comforting that we've at least moved beyond that.

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Sex might not have been raised - but I must admit, I am a little confused by the question of Alkane's parentage.

I guess the dragon/fox thing makes sense - we all know foxes - but plants? Definitely some explaining to do there. (It makes a great character design, though.)

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...I'd rather they be on the subject of whether 25, 40 or 85% of furries believe they are part animal, as opposed to being on the subject of whether we have sex in fursuits....It's comforting that we've at least moved beyond that..

How do you know they won't? Trust me, it's a sure bet that they will venture into the sexual, even if you didn't personally mention anything of it.

And sorry, but to the average outsider not involved in the fandom, hearing that some furries think they are part animal is just a berserk and wacked-out to them as the idea of sex in fursuits.

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"hearing that some furries think they are part animal is just a berserk and wacked-out to them as the idea of sex in fursuits"

Yes, but 25-40% (depending on whose numbers you use) of furries DO believe they are part animal. So, it seems to me that they were bound to think of us as weird regardless. I'm not afraid of people thinking what we do is weird (let's be honest - many furries revel in the fact that we're a bit weird, that's part of the fun of it - the fact that it is so different from the 'real' world).

I'm not going to defend their screwing up of the numbers. That was always out of my control - I did my best to provide them with the most accurate figures we had, and it was up to them whether or not they used them. All I can defend is the stuff that I said, which I don't feel painted the fandom in a negative light =)

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I don't know if you realize this Nuka, but all humans are animals. That is what I find so ironic about this argument.

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A couple of others have pointed out more or less the same thing. Not that everyone agrees with it; some Christian fundamentalists reject the theory of evolution, including the notion that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor, embracing instead the notion that mankind was created separately from and superior to other animals. (To be fair, there are probably other major religions that have beliefs on the origin of mankind that conflict with modern scientific understanding, but I'm not familiar with what those are without spending some time researching it.)

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I am aware of this =P I was a biological science minor as an undergraduate. Given that they fall under the kingdom Animalia, humans are, biologically speaking, animals. I don't deny this for a moment. From a philosophical point of view, however, there has long been a debate about whether there is something "essentially" different between humans and animals, or whether humans are just another example of animals. My own personal belief is that humans are just another animal (given that I have a good appreciation of and love for biology), but I also appreciate and respect the views of others who may believe that humans represent something essentially different from animals.

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Not everyone uses the exact same meanings to words as scientific jargon. Quite frequently people use animal to mean some creature other than human, as opposed to meaning a member of kingdom animalia. Usually it is pretty clear from context.

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If they do paint the fandom as fetishist, I'll gladly say that National Geographic is a magazine that most pick up to look at African Triable tatas. Just as a fair warning National Geographic, you got stereotypes too ;P

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*snerks*

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To be completely honest, I understand what Nuka and them were trying to do, but we just don't need it anymore.

Furry fandom isn't taboo. We aren't weird. It's one of the biggest subcultures in the world. We don't need television shows anymore.

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Please. We may be one of the biggest subcultures, but we're also one of the most invisible.

Needing T.V. shows is beside the point. If we're as big as you think, we'd be making the T.V. shows.

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i think this would be a very informative documentary if they got some of the facts straight, as in the number of people who consider themselves part human, and the number of people in the fandom, i mean furaffinity has around a million users alone, so to speak, and not every furry has fa XD , i doubt they'll fix the mistakes though, as its already been through editing

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FA 'only' has between 500 000 and 600 000 users, not 1 million. The estimate of 1 million total furs is probably not a bad one.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I've got very mixed feelings here. On the one hand National Geographic is well-respected and should make a good show. On the other hand they're working with Fox News. Despite the cool name a survey showed that people who use Fox News actually know less about current events than people who don't get any news. (http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2011/knowless/)

That 85% figure is so far off the mark it makes me wonder if they bothered to research this seriously or if this is just a commercial series with no documentary integrity. I've never seen any of Taboo so I can't say. Also they keep conflating fursiters with furries as a whole. Fursuiting is just one small subsection.

Must say I'm also surprised they need an ethicist for this sort of thing. That's actually quite disturbing since it suggests that they consider fursuits to be something that people will consider immoral.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Okay, now I am not a big fan of Fox News, but just because News Corp owns part of NatGeo does not really undermine their credibility any more than it undermines sites like Hulu or IGN, or other channels like FX or Syfy...

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I think it's a matter of degree. Fox owns 27% of Hulu (as do NBC and Disney) - for Nat Geo, it's the majority holder. FX is all Fox, but it's also all sports and entertainment - unless you consider Nip/Tuck educational. SyFy is owned by NBCUniversal, so I'm not sure why you mentioned it. IGN . . . well, I never really trusted them to start with.

Do Fox's paws inevitably taint everything it touches? No; besides, some of the issues the fandom has with video documentary shows are as much a factor of the visual medium as who produces the shows. Would I be more comfortable had the NGS partnered with, say, BBC Worldwide? Yes.

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Hmm, the source I had listed Syfy under News Corp. I must have had some off info.

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Okay... Fox apparently carries Syfy for Central and South American countries.
That is how I got the two together.

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Considering how political FOX can become, it makes sense that people would know less because it tends to be mostly analysis of how the president is doing and what is going on with the war in Iraq. CNN is better for general news, but they definitely don't report without political bias. It's the local channels (including FOX 23 for me) that give me a good general view of things. Granted, I don't let it stop there: I read much more news content (from a number of sources both local and international). One trend that I am seeing amongst my non history majoring college friends is that most of them don't have a clue about what's going on, and they watch almost no news.
They will talk about, "By the way, did you hear about So-and-so?"
And I will reply, "Yeah, about a week ago. Don't you guys watch the news?"
And they say, "No. Who watches the news?"

I think that apathy has the most to do with people remaining uninformed, and part of that apathy is selection only political news sites.
But that is part of the reason that I watch FOX news, so that I stay up to date on the conservative half of politics.

All that said, I wouldn't think that that has to do so much with the numbers, I would have to think that it has more to do with the individual show (and those in charge of such things), advertising time (meaning, what they can fit within the allotted time while still allowing for advertisements), and the importance of the subject matter to both the average joe, and the producers.

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"Considering how political FOX can become, it makes sense that people would know less because it tends to be mostly analysis of how the president is doing and what is going on with the war in Iraq."

Which is Ironic because when Bush was president they didn't cover the Iraq war in much detail at all.

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Yeah. Of course during that time I wasn't really paying attention to the war, and all I caught was when my dad would turn on the news (at which point seemed to be always covering the war, but perhaps that was the only time that he would watch it). Now I watch the news for my own purposes (mostly the part about it being my duty as an American citizen to stay informed as all of my history professors have guilted me into doing).

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Some Furries consider themselves to also be a Therian or Otherkin. In that sense it is either a psychological or spriritual belief (or indeed both) that they are fundamentally different.

I am a Therian Furry that has a strong belief in reincarnation, therefore I do believe I have lived previously as something other than human which now influences how I see myself.

If people were more open & understanding there'd be a heck of a lot more tolerance & acceptance but alas with humans we tend to be influenced by so many things & some things are just considered 'wrong' which is a shame.

Eros & Thanatos I guess LOL.

I think the research Nuka is doing is fantastic, it certainly gives a good picture of what people are like in the Furdom but programs such as these do tend to come off as a bit of a poo poo attitude.

Yes we're adults, yes some of us like to dress up, some of think we are part animal but the Furdom is a very accepting place full of conflicting beliefs be ir religious or otherwise & we all get on well together which is a lot more than can be said for 'ordinary' people.

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To Nuka and the other furs on this show, good job. You'll probably get a lot of butthurt backlash from the community because furries love to be butthurt but don't pay them any attention. Most of us are adults here and we should be used to a little teasing. I think you guys are doing great on the show. And your suits are adorable.

I, for one, don't really care if people talk about furries on television. I don't even care if they talk about yiffing in suits on television. It takes all sorts of people to make the world go round and I've long since accepted that. Bring on the bad media attention, every subculture gets it *shrugs* Either way, good job. Looks great. Who cares if they fudged the numbers for ratings a bit.

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I believe I am starting to notice the pattern in posting styles.

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Wait... IS THAT A BEBOP COSTUME?

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first off, very amazing suits!

secondly, i think this would be a "hey, this looks interesting!" kinda thing to the neutral non-fur. when i say neutral, i mean "i dont think furries are weird, yet what they do is very strange." or something along that line.

id say, this might be good for the fandom. they got the statistics wrong, but maybe theyre using their own research instead of the ones given to them by the furries themselves.

i love NatGeo, & Fox is okay too. regardless, itll get seen on some screen somewhere. its publicity for the fandom, good & bad, regardless of how its viewed.

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If the unrepresentative behaviour and opinions of certain furries bother Kage so much, why does he continue to let Lupine Assassin and Crusader Cat attend AnthroCon?

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And likewise, why doesn't he make fursuits mandatory or just ban them all so fursuits won't be unrepresentative? Maybe it is because the solution to disproportionate representation is not to make everyone uniform, since at the very least, it is not a achievable practical solution.

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Human beings are always going to pay attention to the most shiny thing, if you got rid of the fursuiters they'd either all leave with dis-interest, or they'd all be paying attention to the artists and mostly ignoring the writers kind of like furries tend to do online.

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Because they've not given him reason to do so...
There are furs out there who are unfavourable to Kage, but unless they are misbehaving at the convention or doing something that could really hurt the convention's image among the locals, he is not as ban-happy as people seem to think.

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Because they weren't wrongfully detained at an airport.

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The answer is that they didn't directly stir up shit at his con.

Next question.

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i dont think nuka and talarus said bad stuff.

the fact is still, for the outside its weird, but taboo » i dont think so.
however i find it distastefull that one or two scientists are there spewing mud and and say that this isnt adult....

i dont do drugs, i dont drink myself into coma, i dont shoot at people, i dont rob, i do fursuiting
is it realy such a bad hobby?

no, those scientists are just so blind, and i find it sad that NGC introduce it this way.
this isnt realy neutral from their point of view

again, nuka and talarus: well done

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Much thanks Quiran =^_^=

In the defense of Singer: If you really listen to what he says, I don't think he says anything SUPER bad... he says things like "It's considered strange for grown men and women to dress up as furry animals because most adults can't relate to people who want to do that" - There's actually nothing wrong with this sentence. If you read it judgmentally, as if they were saying "hmph, there's a reason adults don't do this stuff", then yes, it's kinda prick-ish. But if they're just stating a fact (if you asked most adults whether they can relate to people who want to dress up in fursuits... most of them would say they don't get it), then it's not so bad.

Now, if the psychiatrist says something like "furries are maladjusted people" or "furries are obviously people with some kind of problem", THEN they get my foot up their ass =D

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no, those scientists are just so blind, and i find it sad that NGC introduce it this way.

For the same reason you shouldn't judge the furries for how they are covered in such a production, you should be careful of judging of researchers and other interviewees brought in, as they could be subject to the same editing and selection biases. As Nuka says in the previous comment, in these clips what they say is true in the a sense they are describing how these things are often viewed by outsiders. How such statements are framed though, by what comes before and after it, could affect how easy it is to notice what exactly they are saying.

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I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were being paid for their time, though, and went into this knowing exactly what would be used. Dr. Varma seems to do this for a living, and even if Dr. Singer wasn't paid directly, being a well-known media personality helps sales of his book.

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How such researchers get involved still parallels how furries end up on such shows. Some do it for attention, some think they can help set things straight, others are just oblivious to the nature of what they got involved in. It is not difficult to find the attention seekers in either group if you need one or scare off more mild mannered people. The point is it can be difficult to tell what someone actually said and their motivations, regardless which end they are on. Sometimes a show screws up what someone said, sometimes a show just ends up with an idiot that says something stupid on their own, and it might not be obvious which case is which (although sometimes it is obvious).

These media issues aren't unique to something fringe like furries. I've seen scientists that with rather mundane and uncontroversial work get burned bad by being interviewed for stuff related to conspiracy theories or psuedoscience, and only realising it too late. And it is not like this is a problem of all media, as most of media plays things straight. But it only takes some bad luck and one bad apple to get yourself dragged into a mess.

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Yeah adults like this stuff too, it's just socially acceptable to use your kids as an excuse for the interest.

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*laughs* I can attest to this Sonious. I can't count the number of parents who've told me "having a kid is great, you get to play with all the toys and things you did as a kid". I guess for a lot of furries, we just ask "well, if you like playing with the toys/ using your imagination/ being that playful so much, why not just do it?"

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5 stars.

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I just had to facepaw at this.

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What just gets me is how many of them are fursuiting and exposing large areas of their skin, or are just dressing really, really tacky. Why would you embarass yourself like that, there's TV cameras on you, Jesus Christ.

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Your avatar is SO KAWAII X3

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o-oh, um, okay

bowrll made it

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/bowrll/

yyyyep

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Too bad don't have an FA account, so I can't subscribe.

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In my defense (as being one of the ones guilty of "showing skin"): The day of the filming, I didn't actually expect to have my fursuit (which was in the process of being made by my artist). The artist contacted me while we were shooting, letting me know that it was, in fact, finished. I got the opportunity to throw it on and try it out for the very first time! Unfortunately, I was not dressed/ prepared for the occasion, which is why, in several of the shots from the first day of filming, I was running around in shorts >.<' In all subsequent shooting, I was wearing pants, and am very meticulous about ensuring that no skin is showing (and am in the process of having the torso made).

I will also say that how a furry chooses to suit (or not to suit) is up to them - calling someone's suit tacky or the way they choose to represent themselves in the fandom is a matter of taste. I readily concede that our suits are not professionally made, as some of us are students or, in most cases, building a suit for their very first time. I would contend that, for most suiters out their, they do not have the luxury of owning a professionally made suit. I definitely agree that you can tell the difference in quality between a first-time suit and a professional one, but I don't think it's fair to dismiss anyone's fursuit as tacky or embarrasing and not worth showing off. We are all proud of our suits, flaws and all! Besides, isn't saying that we should be embarrassed to express our furry nature just contributing to the fear that many furries have about attention being drawn to the fandom? (e.g. "what if they think I look silly? What if people think it's weird?") The point is that, yeah, it can be silly, yeah, it can be imperfect, and that's okay. It's okay to be furry.

My question is this: would it have made a difference if the suits were all $5,000 and professionally made? And, if so, can you honestly say it would be a more accurate portrayal of the average fursuiter?

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He didn't get on to you about the price you payed for the suit or its quality, that's irrelevant. Stop being so insecure.

He just said showing skin is tacky, and it is. It isn't hard to cover up skin parts, so when you didn't it looked like you didn't put in any effort. And since your representing alot of fursuiters out there just by deciding to wear a fursuit on tv, you should have had enough respect for the rest of the community to show a bit of effort in at least getting dressed for the part.

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4th wall principality I'm assuming here?

Question though..anyone that recieves anything new wants to try it out including clothes (fursuit if you will) & often times you are not always prepared at the time so do you:

a) try to contain your excitment & leave it til it's more appropriate for those around you
b) try it out because you are so exctited & know the others around you that also accept you

Personally if I ever had a fursuit made I'd want to try it out the second I had it in my hands but that is beside the point as I won't ever own one as I'm claustrophobic so moot point.

As a female though I have certainly bought new clothes & changed into them somewhat inappropriately (for example in the car) in broad daylight...unacceptable to some but to others no.

I really doubt Nuka intentionally decided to show off skin, he was excited to have his fursuit, what fur (that would want a fursuit) would not be excited?

Heck there are times I bet in EVERYONE'S lives that they have done something that to another might seem somewhat tacky & not thought about it because of other things going on at the time, this is clearly what happened here, not an attempt to butcher or be rude or dismissive to Fursuiters at all.

I think it's a little crass to attack Nuka when he is doing research that will benefit Furs in general, if he made a faux pas (again I am not a suiter so perhaps my views are skewed) he has learned from it as he said he was wearing trousers in subsequent filming.

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Well first this isn't a case of someone just getting a fursuit and deciding to go out and have some fun. This is someone "just" getting a suit and deciding to go on a national television program and represent an entire fandom with it, on the same day! Particularly the "fur suiting" portion of the fandom.

You find it crass to question his judgement? I find it a little "crass" to represent the entire fursuiter population the first day you get a fursuit.

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I totally appreciate the point, and I do apologize if I've inadvertently offended members of the fursuiting community. I can honestly say that it wasn't anything intentional: I wasn't asked to be on the show as a fursuiter - I was asked to do the show as a furry researcher and a furry: and that was largely what I did. Until, halfway through filming, my cell phone went off and I said "hey, cool, my fursuit is done!" And they thought (and I agreed with them) that it would be really cool to do a little bit showing a furry getting his fursuit and trying it on for the first time. It was all quite unplanned and made up on-the-fly. It was made very explicit when we filmed that this was my first time wearing the fursuit (even if the preview didn't make it apparent), and whether or not that ends up coming through in the final cut, the entire filming was done with the theme of "hey, here's a furry trying out the fursuit for the very first time and telling us what it's like!" On the first day, I didn't have a chance to rush back home and grab pants (it was a particularly hot day and I wasn't planning to wear a fursuit). Nor was I planning to representing the skilled fursuiting community (it was a "hey, try it on! Let's see what it looks like!" kind of thing). And that was only for one outing on the one day of filming: in all subsequent days I do wear pants and go to great lengths to ensure no skin is showing (for example: I vehemently refused to let them film me putting the head on/ taking it off, because I know there are a lot of fursuiters who consider that to be a big way in which the "magic" is ruined.)

At any rate, I don't think I did or said anything wrong, but do want to make it clear that I did not intend any slight towards the fursuiting community. I care deeply about the fandom (that's why I've been researching it for the last two years now), and I only did the episode to begin with because I do care about the community (I'm a shy person by nature and dislike the thought of so much attention being brought to me, especially when it's not being focused on me but rather on an image of me that's ultimately out of my control and in the hands of an editor ten thousand miles away).

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I don't think you inadvertently offended members of the fursuiting community.

I think you inadvertently offended some random anonymous guy.

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I am not even sure he even offended some random anonymous guy, unless I am underestimating how caustic the word "tacky" is.

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In high school, it's the difference between being "in" and "out", afterwards, not so much.

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I would say most people here are well out of high school, but some seem to try their hardest to recreate a high school atmosphere here, so maybe that is relevant.

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^^this

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I know you didn't mean to offend anyone, or mean it as a "slight towards the fursuiting community". I hold no ill will towards you or anything.

But i think you can concede to the original point in all its simplicity, that showing skin is a bit tacky in a fursuit and you COULD have gotten pants if you had to. When you defend yourself with arguments against statements that were never made *ie the price of your suit*, its quite obvious you are feeling guilt for your actions. So just man up, accept the criticism and apologize without a 1 page excuse. Welcome to the lime-light of going on television.

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I'll begin by conceding that I don't know very much about the fandom or the "rules" to which it apparently holds its members. That being said, I don't believe that involvement in an activity (baking, knitting, jogging, fursuiting) should be defined by or restricted to “the only way” a person should engage in it. If the purpose of any of these activities is for the pleasure and enjoyment gained by those engaging in them, then how they choose to engage in them is “the way.” As for the reply regarding the cost of the fursuit, the implication of something being tacky is that it’s cheap, ugly, and of poor quality; a question whether a better-quality or more costly suit would have made a difference to the author of the comment is a legitimate one that has nothing to do with personal insecurity.

I do understand that anyone, furry or otherwise, would (and should) expect that they be portrayed in an accurate matter by someone representing them but, to nitpick on the exposing of skin…? This is the blasphemy worth noting? If that’s the case, then Alkane had better be ashamed of having elbows exposed. Surely he COULD have found a shirt with longer sleeves if he’d REALLY wanted to. It’s like telling someone they’re not accurately representing those who exercise because they aren’t sporting Lululemon. Does it somehow diminish or negate the essence of anyone who exercises? It’s not real jogging if the tank top didn’t cost as much as the running shoes? I can’t imagine the backlash that would be found in this thread had the content of the episode turned to talks of yiffing if it just happened to be something Nuka or the others engaged in (particularly since it would not have been inaccurate to bring it up yet would more likely than not have shed the fandom in a negative light among the public).

More importantly, the purpose of the series and this particular episode (as I understand it and as Nuka explains below) is simply to showcase some of the things that people engage in regardless of how different/cool/eccentric/weird/awesome they may be. With that, I implore many of you to stop being naïve, thinking that a television program (called “Taboo,” of all things -- making a value judgment even before the opening credits roll…) could be broadcast objectively and that, somehow, having one individual represent you versus another would make all the difference. Be thankful that Nuka is someone who, given the circumstances of the show and its purpose, was very careful of how he was going to portray the fandom (i.e., as accurately and positively as possible) and those of you who are a part of it. The episode isn’t for furries who are going to nitpick at a few inaccuracies (as if cushion eaters couldn’t do the same about other cushion eaters); it’s for the public who thinks you and a plethora of other people are just plain weird. Whether or not real furries in real fursuits show their skin is entirely irrelevant to how they’re going to be perceived.

Showing skin sounds like a big deal to the fandom; I don’t entirely understand it, but I acknowledge it. But did Nuka really do something terrible by having on a pair of shorts? Doubtful. Could he have happened to represent the fandom in a very negative or inaccurate way that would further stigmatize them? Yes, he could have -- by accident or even purposefully. Could he have had a less “tacky” outfit on (whatever that means in this context)? Sure, but it’s his problem if he wore shorts and not a three-piece suit, not anyone else’s (to say nothing of the fact that there would have been backlash then about how staged/forced dressing like that would have been for Nuka).

Perhaps a better approach would be to be happy about the fact that an individual did their best to portray the fandom in the most positive way they could given the personal experiences and external resources that were available to them and, more importantly, in a way which had the best interests of all furries in mind.

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I understood your point by reading the first few sentences.

DON'T WRITE A FRIGGIN' WALL OF TEXT FOR GOD'S SAKE!

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No one told you you had to read all of it...my apologies if your finger fatigued from having to scroll. It looks like all of your posts on this thread have been meaningless...sorry for contributing a bit of substance.

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Since when do all posts have to be meaningful?

Also, don't be so proud just because you written some post.

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No, its not all that huge of a deal. However it was and is "tacky". And again NO ONE except for NUKA said anything about the quality or cost of his suit but NUKA. Why is everyone treating him as a victim?

Also you admitted to not knowing very much about the fandom, then why are you posting on something that offends some of its members? Being furry is not equated to a simple hobby like baking, jogging or knitting. Its a full blown lifestyle.

However even if it was equated to baking. It'd be like going on television, proclaiming 85percent of all bakers are Atheists, baking the first cake you've ever baked, then forgetting the icing, and then making excuses as to why you couldn't get any.

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I see what you're saying, I just think that there are worse things that could have been done or said. To pick on someone who tried to do a good thing even though maybe they didn't do it how YOU would have done it doesn't give you (i.e., anyone) the right to harp on them. And yes, you're correct in that a hobby might not be the same as being furry BUT just like there are people who are fanatical about a hobby and those who loosely partake in it in their spare time, I'm sure there are furries who eat, breathe, and sleep it and others who never get a fursuit, never go to conferences, etc. And I sincerely don't think your extreme example with the athiest baker compares to the claims that some furries think they're part animal or whatever other issues you might have come across in the 3-minute preview.

As for admitting I don't know much about the fandom, I'm commenting as someone for whom I believe this show is meant for. As a viewer, my understanding of or appreciation for furries isn't about whether their outfit is tacky (irrelevant to my impression of them), it's about GENERALLY who they are, what they do, etc. Anyway, just my two cents based on the comments I read, nothing more. I love how people on these message boards figure their opinion is the only valid one....

At this point, it would probably be much more appropriate for EVERYONE to wait until the episode airs to make a judgement call about it.

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Do you even know what your arguing against anymore? I made no grand judgements on the episode as a whole nor picked on anyone. If you scroll ALLLLL the way back up, someone said showing skin in fursuit is tacky, and I agreed because it is. I'm curious , do you blow everything said out of proportion in your daily life as well, or only on comment forums.

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*blinks* Holy crap. Who's blowing this up now..? I'm JUST commenting on the fact that someone was complaining about something (the skin tackiness) which I, because of the nature of the show and Nuka's explaination/apology, percieve to have not been a big deal given how negatively furries could have been portrayed. That's ALL. If it was a big deal (which I see that it is), fine. I just have my own opinion on it. I'm also saying it calmly, and it was NOT meant to be directed at you personally, so I apologize if it came off differently...

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Don't listen to the haters. I think the suits looked fine. Some people will nitpick about anything. I seriously don't think the average person who isn't a furry will care or even pay much attention to the fact that skin is showing.

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True I concede to you on that, it could have been better thought out, in regards to as to how it would reflect on Fursuiters as a whole, though I do honestly believe at the time it was all excitment with wanting to share something that had been made, something that for Nuka helps him to represent a part of himself in relation to the fandom itself.

As I mentioned above, my views may be skewed as I do not & will not ever own a fursuit, I am a great believer in trying not to generalise people of any sort, to do so only perpetuates it in the long run. In other words to say that a single person (or a couple of people) is indicative or a true reflection of a group of people is wrong.

There may be quantifiable markers that do define us as belonging to specific groups but that doesn't mean we are all carbon copies & I think this was an honest mistake - which Nuka also agrees with (as he explains himself)

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That was kind of weird.
I bet the producers of this didn't even understand the fandom when making this.
"Belive they are part human, part animal." I'm sure many will say, not all of them belive they are part aniaml. Me for a start, I'm a furry but I don't belive I'm part animal. I just like animals and having fun.
Its also strange how they don't mention the other furries who just like the litriture, art and other stuff.

They find people pole dancing and dressing in reveling cloths normal yet they think people having some fun is werid?

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I know what you mean... They introduce me as a person who thinks they're "part human, part animal." I don't actually think that I'm part animal (not that there's anything wrong with it: about 20-25% of the fandom does). To be honest, I'm not too bothered by it - it's not the worst thing they could say about me, and if it's the biggest mistake they make in the episode, I can live with that.

I'm curious to see how much of the footage they use from the interview with me when I talk about all the things furs have been talking about in this discussion: I make quite explicit in my interview that only 15% of furs actually own/ wear a fursuit, and that the vast majority of the fandom consists of people who are interested in furry artwork/ literature. Whether they use that information or not is up to them o.o'

I don't think they explicitly say that furries/ fursuiters are weird... I think the point of Taboo is to say "hey, look, things like this are things that most people would consider to be weird (which isn't unture), but, when you have a look at it, turns out it's not as weird/frightening/bad as people think." That seems to be the theme of their shows.

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Fox. News.

That is all.

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News about foxes?

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BREAKING NEWS!

Foxes look very similar to wolves, and almost exactly like jackals.

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No, it is coyotes, not foxes, that look almost exactly like jackals.

Fred Patten

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I can't tell the difference.

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Just got through watching the episode. It actually wasn't that bad. It was far better than a lot of media coverage we've gotten. The show only made a passing reference to the erotic art, and they showed a couple of the furries afterwords saying sex isn't what it's about and drawing a comparison to sci-fi fandom.

Admittedly, I have no problem with the "part human, part animal" bit because I'm also a therian in addition to being a furry. Also, there are furries who don't consider themselves entirely human as others have pointed out. There are also furries who enjoy cartoons and toony style, whereas I don't so much, but I don't get my hackles raised over it when it's mentioned in a show like this, or in the extensive Anthrocon coverage where Anthrocon is described as a convention for cartoon fans.

Yes, they focused a lot on the fursuits and costuming. They probably should have made more mention of the other ways of expressing a furry identity, but with limited time they had to pick a focus, and costuming is more interesting and visually engaging to general audiences.

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Huh. Just saw the episode on TV, and it's not half bad. It's actually a fair documentary, far from the "shockumentaries" you often see. Not perfect, but I'd say the episode was indeed made (and edited) in good faith. Above all else a highlight would be this is the first time I've heard furry be compared to Sci-Fi fandom, and actually referred to as "furry fandom" as opposed to just "the furries".

What I didn't like was the way it started off - but it got better. I'm disappointed that I felt it was portrayed as wanting to dress up as an animal and/or believing you're an animal initially, and then not clarifying too much later on. Because of that, what the fans said later into the segment conflicted somewhat with the narrator's comments at the beginning.

Also, being a furry IMHO doesn't quite fit with the theme of the show, which was "secret double lives". A secret, yes, for those who can't be bothered to explain it to other people (myself included), but hardly a double life.

As I said before, it wasn't anywhere close to being perfect, but it's actually something you could use to explain the fandom to someone unfamiliar with it which wasn't produced by the fandom itself.

If it were a school report which I was grading, they'd get a B-. If they wanted to make it better, they could've started off the segment with a little less drama, but beyond that it would've needed to be longer than a few minutes to have been improved.

Probably a good thing, actually, don't want to bore the viewers. Thinking about it, I got bored with the millionare/hobo guy's segment. They could've had a little less time on that guy, but 'meh', whatever. It really did feel like the least amount of time was dedicated to the furry segment, though, but that could also just be because it's all I was interested in seeing. Plus I had the TV showing me a thumbnail next to the programming guide with the volume low for a good portion of it, not wanting to attract attention to the big living room TV that I was stuck using.

Kudos to those who appeared on the show, you all did good.

tl;dr version

Good documentary, but a tad brief. The commercials promoting the episode, and the introduction to the furry segment, were bad, which they unfortunately relied on to try to attract viewers.

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Also just watched the preview video for the first time - that preview is almost half of the entire segment. Ah well, at least they corrected themselves on the "85% believe they are not entirely human" bit for the actual broadcast. Just my opinion on that, since 25 is still a large percentage, but I'd say some of the people who answered that on the survey didn't quite mean it in a literal sense. Awhile ago I would've probably answered yes to that, being new to the fandom, but I now would probably say 'no'.

(this is the same anon, by the way)

I'll have to re-watch it at the midnight airing to see if I missed anything. Hopefully I won't have to worry about bringing attention to myself while everyone's asleep, too.

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So they corrected that figure in the actual episode? That's good to hear. I had sent them an email complaining about it but got no reply. Suppose there's no need to keep complaining if it was dealt with.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I was impressed that the corrected the figure for the episode as well =) I e-mailed them as soon as I saw the preview, informing them of the correct statistic and letting them know I was displeased with the fact that it seemed like they pulled that figure out of absolutely nowhere (especially in light of the fact that I had given them every statistic we had about the furry community). I'm impressed that they listened and, with such seemingly short notice, changed the stat!

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Further into that, even though they stated that "Up to 25% of furries believe they are not entirely human" about halfway into it, their introduction to the segment stated that we're people who believe we're part animal/want to be animals. Funny how a documentary conflicts with itself if you pay attention.... We want to be animals, but only 25% of us want to be animals. Makes sense...

Generally speaking they described us as "weirdos who believe we're part animal/want to dress up as animals regularly, and apparently like cartoons as well" when the primary focus is quite the other way around ~ a focus on anthropomorphic cartoons/fiction with some of us wanting to be like that as a secondary interest.

Instead of that, I would've went for something like "geeks who like cartoons (anthropomorphics) and occasionally dress up/costume as such." But I guess for that to happen we'd need to have been on something that's not called 'taboo'. It almost felt like they wanted to make a shockumentary like all the rest, but didn't want to misquote anyone who appeared on the show.

Either way the '3xperts' got their say, and so did the furries. Overall, I'd probably describe it like this:

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XD That picture/ response is probably the best way to sum up my feelings toward it too. Well-said!

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The funniest part about the question '...entirely human' is they don't realize humans are animals too. http://kidscientist.com/33/why-are-humans-animals/ Just so everyone should be able to understand.
I would like to see the entire interview, I hope it gets on the web soon. As I don't have TV, not for years now. I don't miss it either.

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That is where the wording can become important. If asking someone if they feel they are part animal, someone could say yes to that due to the whole humans are animal thing. If asking someone if they feel they are not entirely human, then that wouldn't be a direct factor, because humans being classified as animals doesn't make us all less than 100% human, at least in the literal, biological sense.

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Also, most people who answer that they don't see themselves as entirely human still think they are 100% human in a literal, biological sense. A majority of those who answer that they aren't entirely human on the survey probably mean they believe they are not entirely human in a spiritual or psychological manner. That may sound a little odd or laughable to some atheists or agnostics, but I personally find the idea no stranger than some beliefs and practices found in major world religions.

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Your comments are well-taken, and we've actually taken that feedback into account. We tried, on the last survey, to disambiguate this very issue: in the past we'd asked simply "do you consider yourself less than 100% human?" But a lot of furries would point out to us, rightly so, that this can mean a lot of things: physically? Spiritually? Psychologically? We included a "mentally less than 100% human" component on the most recent survey, and in an upcoming one we also plan to add a "spiritual" component as well =)

As for Purple's comment, I agree - humans are animals. However, there is an age-old philosophical question about whether or not humans represent something distinct from animals, or are "just another animal". Additionally, it is interesting to us whether people mentally categorize humans (and themselves) as animals or not, regardless of what biological fact may otherwise state. If anything, the fact that humans are animals should work against us, and make it less likely that we find anyone who reports feeling less human. We also make a point, in the way we ask our questions, to state "non-human animals" rather than just "animals" (where relevant).

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Ah, well that is better, you commented earlier in a way that was worded different, that I just commented on, that comment before, up there in the feed a bit.
At my last con I went to, Rainfurrest 2011, I was stopped on the sidewalk a few times, when I was on my way to or back from getting food up the street from the hotel. People stopped there cars, and asked me what was going on. So I explained the fandom briefly, from an artist point of view. I explained how many were fans of such things as Disney films and shows, and the like. They thanked me, and seemed to understand better, and did not look afraid at all. I think it was great that they were interested enough to stop and ask.
Game on.

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The full segment has appeared on YouTube, although who knows how long it'll stay up there. [HappyWulf]

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

I still laugh, 'part human, part animal.' Uh.. Humans are animals. LOL

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And others still laugh at your lack of understanding of equivocation.

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Furries and the Media.

Don't do it, plain and simple.

I never fully watched this, i don't believe furries should do any media stuff, as the negative things have show many times before.

No matter your good intentions, it get's twisted around.

Sad part I found, is some non-furs and some in the fandom, believe Nuka is some kinda expert on the fandom.
Hell, I've been in the fandom myself over 10 years and nowhere near an expert.

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Actually this is one of the few things I've seen that isn't terrible, even if it does focus on fursuiters. They reference the XXX art, but no where near the beginning and not as if it's a universal thing.

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Indeed, I did lament that it focused so much on fursuiters in the end -_-' We told them time and time again that fursuiters only make up a small proportion of the fandom, and urged them to find non-suiters who were just as interesting, if not more interesting than the suiters (e.g. artists, writers, content creators within the fandom, etc...) Alas, they went the more shallow, visual route, against our recommendations. As you say, though, it wasn't terrible. Just wasn't as good as it could have been (I take solace in the fact that, at very least, it also wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, given what their initial preconceptions of the fandom were).

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[...] given what their initial preconceptions of the fandom were[...].

Care to elaborate on that?

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Well, they weren't quite sure what to expect when they first showed up to meet us. They thought, when they came to film, that a "fur meet" was a bunch of us sitting in fursuits meowing and barking and acting like animals. Obviously, this wasn't the case, and they were quick to change their idea of what furries were. They learned a lot about furries over the days of filming. For example, that we didn't go around wearing our fursuits all the time around the house, and that many of us had professional jobs. They also learned - from nearly two hours of interviews with me, about all the stats regarding furries (basically, a crash course in all of the stats/ demographics/ trends that we've come to learn about the fandom from more than half a dozen large-scale surveys). They didn't get it exactly right, of course (for example, they screwed up and said that I thought I was a cat/ wore a suit to get in touch with my "inner kitten", which is wrong, since I'm not a therian and I just fursuit for fun, self-expression, not for any deeply held connection to cats per se), but, all things considered, given what they had started with, they came a long way.

I don't necessarily fault them for their false preconceptions either... Most people have NO idea whatsoever of what a furry is or what they should expect when meeting "furries". I'm sure their assumptions / guesses were pretty on par with what some folks would assume about furries ("after all, what else would they do with suits?") If anything, I think the episode, which couldn't possibly be expected to cover every aspect of the multi-faceted and incredibly nuanced and complex fandom, did a pretty good job of at least painting it in a positive light (the most common response I've heard from non-furs was "oh, hey, that's really cute!") Funny enough, it seems that furries are the ones who are the most critical of it; most non-furs who watch it go "oh, how cute" and move on.

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At least they called you a furry and not "an Anthrocon" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUnhPUrAD6A

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"We are Flayrah!" - probably not a good slogan, given all the vore fans (and rabbits).

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Oh for Frith sake.

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Ah, yeah, I did see that >.<' I can't imagine a bigger screw-up than to get wrong the name of the group you're doing a story about...

I'll put money that says that becomes a running joke at Anthrocon this year =D

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I agree, most people just do not know what to make of this community; I don't really think we quite know what to make of ourselves most of the time.

But it is always wonderful to introduce people to what it's really about, especially when they are people involved in the media (we definitely need some more stuff like this).

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Hmm, I don't believe in blanket generalizations... I think it's silly to say "don't EVER do the media", because it misses out on all the potential for positive media exposure for the fandom (e.g. furries doing charity runs, doing work for kids hospitals, etc...) I can honestly say that the National Geographic episode was done with the hope that National Geographic would be interested in the research we had been conducting on furries (they did a 2+ hour interview with me wherein I discussed all of the data we had collected on more than 5,000+ furries from nearly 70 different countries). They apparently decided to ignore that in favor of a "fluff" piece instead. It wasn't bad - just wasn't as informative as I'd hoped it would have been, given that it bore National Geographic's name.

I think the message should be for people to pick and choose CAREFULLY their media exposure. For example: while I did decide to do National Geographic, I would NEVER agree to the MTV show on furries, or something from Fox or some sort of shock jock radio show. It was, in the end, a calculated risk, as many things are in life.

For the record: I don't claim to be an expert on furries. I claim to be studying them scientifically, from a social psychological perspective and as part of a multidisciplinary team of sociologists, psychologists and anthrozoologists. I don't make claims that are not backed by statistics and a mountain of data, available (at least a small summary of it) on our website: https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/

I do not claim to know any more about the fandom than any other fur in terms of its history, nor do I ever make claims about what the fandom "ought to be" with any kind of semblance of authority or expertise. The only thing I CAN claim is to be professional (in that I am a paid graduate student who studies furries and furry culture) and to be a serious academic.

Hopefully that addresses your concerns =)

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

I keep reading about how walking around with a fur suite as an adult is something that should have been left behind as a child. I would say even more so in believing fairy tales as adults. Religion is exactly that, so they can take their opinion and consider that the religious are the children that never grew into adulthood.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.