Creative Commons license icon

Editorial: Furry fandom and the D-word; a dire warning from Penn State

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (12 votes)

Drama: it's a complicated little word that with a large negative connotation when used within the furry fandom. There are those who don't always see the best in furry; who point out flaws in what sometimes seem an overbearing manner, and decry some within the fandom from their own corner of the web. These voices may seem pointless at best and harmful at worst to the health and enjoyment of the furry fandom.

However, a recent event in the college football fandom might show why furries who see and speak no wrong in the fandom could be just as harmful as those who see only wrong in it.

An axiom revisited

The Axiom of Fandom Enjoyability was a group of essays written over the course of many years by Xydexx and at this time is about ten years old. It was created in a time where perhaps there was a bit too much negativity in the fandom and is a talking point which I've heard many respected people in the fandom reference in some way whether purposeful or not. You get out of the fandom what you put into it, the fandom is what you make of it. These are words I've heard from many furries who find a great deal of success in the fandom.

I have one issue with the Axiom, and it stems from the second part, which basically separates the fandom into two distinct groups: the "Cool furries" and the "Big complainers". Obviously there are some questions that arise here like "How much does one have to complain to be a big complainer versus just a little one?" or "If you complain a little, does that mean you're less cool then someone who doesn't complain at all?"

These questions are up to the reader to decide for themselves I suppose. What the Axiom illustrates though is that the middle ground is ignored. There are blue people, there are red people, but there are no purple people. People who can attract or repel either group depending on what they are saying at the moment. I guess I'm just someone who like seeing things in their complicated true form rather then simplified diagrams. Hopefully that's a little complaint and not a big one.

However, the main disservice I feel the Axiom does is that it only covers the positive side of being positive towards a fandom and the negative side of being a complainer. It does not delve into the possibility that there is another side to this. That seeing nothing but the good and trying to get others to only see good in a fandom can sometimes have negative consequences. That seeing the bad in and speaking about it to others can never result in anything positive. So the main purpose of this editorial is to explore a little bit on this uncovered side. To show how blind devotion to a fandom, and personal personification of fandom (aka idolization), can lead to mistakes in judgement.

The "D-word"

I feel the axiom, while having merits, has also led the fandom down a path that can be concerning if it goes to far. Complaints are dealt with a roll of the eyes, sometimes even if they're legitimate. They may be called drama, which has became a mark of shunning. One doesn't want to be labelled as someone who complains or causes drama, so to avoid it, sometimes good complaints are kicked to the curb or never get said.

Just as furry sometimes gets a bad representation, furries sometimes give drama a bad representation. Any good it does is ignored, and only the bad is highlighted. Not all drama is bad drama; sometimes tension is needed, and changes have to be made to make the fandom more enjoyable for more people. Fortunately for this fandom there are many people who have embraced individual opinion, and we continue to allow that expression even if it causes tension. However what I have noticed in most cases is that while opinions on outside fandom topics are mostly embraced, opinions on how people use their positions within the fandom can still cause contention with those who idolize them.

This is caused when a person feels a member of the fandom has so much influence that the person may feel that the very future of the fandom is tied with that person. If someone feels that way they might get overly defensive of them to the point where it goes beyond reason. Remember these concerns about idolization and "avoiding drama" as we move onto this event outside the fandom.

With drama, though, I need reiterate the Axiom in this regard in that those who focus too much on the bad are harmful or blind in their own ways. A good example of this being the NJ BBQ event. Many furries who spend a good deal of time in drama circles were the first to jump on the wagon that these two were actually real people and not a figment of a politician's imagination. They, in essence, believed a "Big Lie" because they hear so much about the bad, they aren't too surprised and tend to believe even the false negative things they hear. Always believing the negative and never believing it are both harmful in their own ways.

Penn State example

Thankfully it's hard for me to come up with an example in furry fandom where being too positive about your group can lead to extremely bad results. Some might be familiar with a few cases, but I am unfamiliar with any that are as dire an example as the recent Penn State scandal has been to college football fandom.

The gist of the story is that there was a highly revered coach and assistant coach that lead many career wins for the college. With such a high record they became highly respected. However, with that respect came a fear – a fear to speak against them and their backing institutions.

The assistant coach, Sandusky, was caught sexually molesting a young boy. However, instead of reporting it to the police, the main coach, Paterno, tried to take the reigns and hold any external investigation back. The action is almost unimaginable; why would the coach decide not to turn in a child molester? Well, one possible explanation is that he felt that to do so would lead to problems with football's image. That the Penn State football franchise which he had leadership over would be tarnished, picked on, and leave the team demoralized. He had become addicted to winning and putting on a good show to his fans, who he earned by doing so. He couldn't let anything stop that. He couldn't let anything make him or his organization look bad, so he hid the negative.

Even after the crime was revealed, Paterno used his dying breath to defend the image of football he was trying to protect. He urged people to look at the culture of football and the positive impact it has on others; to look at all the good the football culture had done for others, the good things it did. However, the evidence of the bad things this fandom was doing was out in the streets, dressed in "cool people" blue, rioting because someone dared question their fandom's idol. In doing this, Paterno's shame became their shame.

Now, I have taken this position myself many a time in the comments on various scandals that have broken out in the furry fandom, such as the Alan Panda scandal. These problems are not a furry issue; people who do despicable things know no fandom or clique. People who do disgusting things are everywhere. However, the difference between the coach, some furs, and I is that I don't think I need to hide the sins of individuals in the fandom from the general public in order to protect the good things we do as a whole. I believe that the good things and people outweigh the bad and it's best to deal with the bad as quickly as possible. If you avoid the bad, it'll grow. If you hide the bad it'll make outsiders more suspicious of the group as a whole. This is especially true if the bad is in a high and respected position of the fandom in question.

Had the college taken action against Sandusky, the only victims would have been the boys that were molested. By trying to protect their fandom, Paterno and the other staff involved made Penn State a victim as well, and maybe even the whole of the college football culture.

Conclusion

Tragedies are made worse when no one reflects upon them. As our fandom becomes more and more influential and as individuals become popular to more people, it is essential that we remember what happens when you put too much on one person. When a fandom becomes too positive to individuals instead of the group. When fans feel that those in the fandom, particularly those in high regard, can do no wrong. In essence, it is important that one not get too lost in fandom – to be blind that a fandom is but an organization of people, and that all people are capable of great wrongs.

Paterno was right when he said the scandal was not a football scandal; however, his actions lead many to believe otherwise. What people can now see is that Paterno cared so much for his sport that he didn't want it blemished by the ties to himself and Sandusky, so he did all he could to hide this from the people. He was afraid people would attack the institution of football, not see it as an escape from the realities of the outside world, where people didn't have to think of the worst of human behavior. So he swept it under the rug, to avoid drama.

As in most tragedies, the action he took based on these fears were the very thing that led them into fruition. Had he come forth immediately, the scandal would have been not been a football one, or a Penn State one. By trying to hide it, he made it so the group took the fall for the actions of an individual.

So to those who may find themselves in power over a fandom, furry or otherwise, remember this story well. Before you say that those who report about the worst behaviors in the fandom are hurting the fandom's image, think about it for a moment. Isn't this line of thinking only assuring that our fandom repeat Paterno's mistake?

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

The Onion has been making hay over this issue, most recently with an article about Penn State students and alumni.

Of course, one follow-on to "those who can't do, teach" is "those who can't teach, criticise". The term 'armchair quarterback' came from American football; it is all too easy for those without responsibilities to shout abuse from the sidelines, or for a critic to turn into a crank who cannot be turned from their chosen topic, nor acknowledge the potential validity of other viewpoints. Fans should beware letting their passion for the game turn to vitriol for those who choose to play differently.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

"There are blue people, there are red people, but there are no purple people."

But what will the poor Purple People Eaters eat!?

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

The quarterback, naturally.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

To me the important point is reality and truth. You shouldn't be lying about the fandom. There are good people and bad people involved. There is clean art and yiff art of every possible fetish. But, specifically with the case of the fandom, some furs seem to think it is some highly exclusive group rather than a reflection of the population as a whole. While in some points we know participation is biased to groups, like young white males, that doesn't mean that it's not reflective of the sort of bad in the world.

Obviously that Penn state incident was handled badly but you're not going to find the rest of the American football (because remember this is an international audience and football and American football are two completely different things) saying it should have been hidden to protect American football's reputation. Furs complain about the media tarnishing their reputation by making them all about murrsuits but they do it themselves by not being willing to admit that there are different people in the fandom and that they don't have to take responsibility for every single person.

"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~

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

Appreciate the article, but the comparison to Penn State Football makes no sense.

- Penn State is an institution, and football is regulated by organizations with firm rules. Furry fandom is a hobby and nobody's in charge. It isn't even definable without generalizing.

- Football is a massively promoted industry full of money, where single games gather more people than the whole furry fandom, and careers depend on it. Furry fandom is barely even mentionable outside of itself, and it barely matters if anyone spends money on it.

- Paterno had a highly paid career with authority over underlings. There's no such thing in furry outside of people's imaginations. He lied to protect his career for his own selfish gain, and so did they. They weren't just "afraid people would attack the institution of football". It was about power and money.

- People who would control the image of furry fandom don't have the power. All they can do is bicker, but nobody has to care what they say. (Uncle who?)

The best comparison that could be made is a pretty trivial one. An unorganized crowd at Penn State rioted for it when the scandal broke. Meanwhile they're considering canceling Penn State's entire program, so that was an ineffectual reaction. Furries can't even vandalize anything when they bicker.

It would be a better article without a bad analogy, and maybe without even mentioning football at all. It would be worth reading for specific examples of what the drama is. (I see one in there, the NJ BBQ event that I agree is worth writing about more. I would be curious to find out if anything actually happened or if it was a hoax, if we ever do find out anything else.)

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (7 votes)

This isn't saying that furry is equivalent to them, it's just a warning on where things can go if people have blind devotion to segments within it. Particularly if leaders overlook heinous actions to defend their group's image.

Take the cubs for instance. If one of them actually does molest a child would those in the cub community turn them in or would they not do so because then those who attack cubs would use them as an excuse to attack their whole subgroup? It's important that the cubs not over think the problem. Is it better for them to hide that one of their own is harming children to prevent particular individuals from saying what they would about them anyway? Or to not get caught covering up for them so to see them and really make people suspicious of them as a group? It might be harder to confront the bad, and the bad will certainly try to convince them that ignoring them is the right thing to do. However, it is not.

The point was there is no comparison right now, however, as one of our earlier articles shows our fandom is growing rather rapidly. As we do grow keeping this in mind is essential. I think right now we currently do have a good balance, my hope is it stays this way. Though I have no examples that are equal to this, my hope is that it stays this way.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

"the cub community"

I don't even know what that is. (Please don't link it. :) Might as well say "people on the internet".

Appreciate the attempt, but I have no use for rhetorical "what ifs" and bad analogies, without journalistic inquiry into actual examples. (I know, this is a blog, it can still aim higher.)

What "furries who see and speak no wrong in the fandom" is this about? What did they do? Did it even matter? Why should we care, if people on the internet say disagreeable things sometimes? That isn't very "dire". How can this article give us more than rhetoric?

The article just breezes by the Alan Panda example, which might provide evidence for an issue, what evidence I don't know. On the other hand, it may be a stronger counter-example for how US crime sentences are disproportionately skewed by absurd moral panic. Any reasonable person should question why, after a hung jury, he got more years in jail for intentions than many people who actually do the crime. (Many female teachers who rape students barely get any jail at all). The bottom line is, he was punished so harshly that any protection anyone wanted to give was ineffectual, and not a very relevant problem.

The NJ BBQ incident brings up even more relevant questions about moral panic. I'd say it's the only actual example here worth an article. This is the best thesis:

Those who focus too much on the bad are harmful or blind in their own ways. A good example of this being the NJ BBQ event. Many furries who spend a good deal of time in drama circles were the first to jump on the wagon that these two were actually real people and not a figment of a politician's imagination. They, in essence, believed a "Big Lie" because they hear so much about the bad, they aren't too surprised and tend to believe even the false negative things they hear.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

I think you're misconstruing what I'm saying. I'm not telling people to play morale police or to go looking for witches to hunt. If you are familiar with this the case of Paterno, which I maybe should have elaborated on, Paterno didn't go out looking for pedophiles. It just got to his desk through another assistant couch that something illegal was going down.

Since there are those in the fandom that really want out image as squeaky clean as we can get it, if another fur sees something illegal (not just immoral) going on, they could feel intimidated because they don't want the furs who want our image to be squeaky clean upset at them. That those people who want us to appear flawless will get angry at them for coming forward to do the right thing and turn in a fellow fur who they know (not just feel) is doing something illegal.

If they don't turn them in on fear of what other furs will feel about them it could make things actually worse. That is the concern here. I'm sure you've seen smaller case examples of this kind of peer pressure within the fandom, if you haven't yet then you will in time. My hope is that they remain small.

The confusion I think comes from the ambiguity of the word dire:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dire

I was using the second definition you are using the third.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (5 votes)

You're being so frustratingly vague and obtuse, it's not possible to construe anything meaningful about this. I'm puzzled why you even wrote it. Please explain:

Since there are those in the fandom that really want out image as squeaky clean as we can get it, if another fur sees something illegal (not just immoral) going on, they could feel intimidated because they don't want the furs who want our image to be squeaky clean upset at them. That those people who want us to appear flawless will get angry at them for coming forward to do the right thing and turn in a fellow fur who they know (not just feel) is doing something illegal.

What does "those in this fandom" mean? Who are "those people who want us to appear flawless"? Can you please point one out?

What illegal thing are you talking about? When and where did it happen? In what way does it support your concern?

These are basic ingredients for writing about an issue. The single example that was even barely explained, the reaction to the NJ BBQ incident, contradicts your concern and gives a good reason why people should be more skeptical.

If they don't turn them in on fear of what other furs will feel about them it could make things actually worse. That is the concern here.

Has this ever happened? How does anyone in this fandom have power to intimidate?

I'm sure you've seen smaller case examples of this kind of peer pressure within the fandom, if you haven't yet then you will in time.

I haven't, and it's really up to you to back up your own concerns. I don't believe anyone in this fandom has power to do anything like that completely non-comparable institutional cover-up that was mentioned. People say disagreeable things on the internet... so what?

Legit criticism is valuable, but I really don't care for rhetoric that beats around the bush, and hints about some sort of rotten core or slippery slope that people should be warned about, using a bad analogy to something that happened somewhere else.

I generally find furry fans to be cool people who earn a healthy amount of trust, even when they're freaky, which makes me like them more. I'm puzzled why you write stuff like this:

Complaints are dealt with a roll of the eyes, sometimes even if they're legitimate.

If people hear something "dire" without a single legitimate complaint in it, why shouldn't they roll their eyes? *roll*

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

What does "those in this fandom" mean? Who are "those people who want us to appear flawless"? Can you please point one out?

There are furs that get upset at the very idea that some people see anything sexual in the fandom, e.g. The Burned Furs and whoever the modern day equivalent was. But in any case a lot of people do not like anyone saying there is a sexual aspect to the fandom.

What illegal thing are you talking about? When and where did it happen? In what way does it support your concern?

To use an example that gets a lot of hate there is the association of the fandom with bestiality. They aren't the same thing but the charge does get laid at the furry fandom. It is illegal in some places and there have been furs that have been arrested for bestiality (and it was reported on Flayrah).

The concern is that if someone reports an illegal activity like that it seemingly justifies the association and tarnishes the fandoms reputation. Some people may worry that if they report that then the furs that want the fandom to seem completely clean will target them. This isn't just speculation. I think it was Chewfox that mentioned how he/she (?) involved sex and the fandom and was pretty much ostracised and much drama was had by all.

"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~

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Finally, an attempt to answer what is the point of an article about drama that doesn't give examples of drama. An article that says:

Thankfully it's hard for me to come up with an example in furry fandom where being too positive about your group can lead to extremely bad results.

So, getting to the point:

Example 1. "The Burned Furs and whoever the modern day equivalent was". Go on... why should anyone care about them, and what modern day equivalent?

Example 2. "There have been furs that have been arrested for bestiality (and it was reported on Flayrah)." It was reported, now we have another contradiction to the point.

Example 3. "I think it was Chewfox" - Yet another contradiction to the point. That isn't someone who was intimidated from speaking out to stop a problem, but someone who did the opposite, attention whoring to start one. Still this is the first link or quote that's come up that even half way demonstrates the concern:

"This account has been closed due to the following reason: User has brought shame to the entire fandom for their own personal self gain."

That's not a problem for anyone who doesn't go out of their way for a personal spotlight on national TV.

"This isn't just speculation." It is, though. It's still a mystery, what's dire about any of this speculation? Let's work together and raise the bar for what gets posted on here.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Example 1. "The Burned Furs and whoever the modern day equivalent was". Go on... why should anyone care about them, and what modern day equivalent?

I didn't say you had to care about the Burned Furs, it was an example of people who think the fandom should be completely clean. That's what you asked for.

Example 2. "There have been furs that have been arrested for bestiality (and it was reported on Flayrah)." It was reported, now we have another contradiction to the point.

That's not a contradiction, it was an example of illegal activity in the fandom, something you asked for. Sonious said they "could be" intimidated from coming forward. That doesn't mean no one is pointing out illegal activity or saying things that could potentially damage the fandom's reputation.

Example 3. "I think it was Chewfox" - Yet another contradiction to the point. That isn't someone who was intimidated from speaking out to stop a problem, but someone who did the opposite, attention whoring to start one. Still this is the first link or quote that's come up that even half way demonstrates the concern:

Again that's a contradiction because the point was the possibility of intimidation preventing people from doing something, for lack of a better term, outside of the accepted party line. If someone sees over 400 unfriendly posts and sees her get banned over the incident then it is entirely possible that that person might reconsider doing anything that would result in the same consequences for them. You're actually more proving the point by implying that it's her own fault for going on TV. There's nothing wrong with going on TV and someone shouldn't be punished for holding a different viewpoint.

"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~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Nope, this isn't what I asked for. I'm asking you to back the point:

the point was the possibility of intimidation preventing people from doing something, for lack of a better term, outside of the accepted party line

This hypothetical concern STILL has nothing to back it up.

Example 1.

I didn't say you had to care about the Burned Furs, it was an example of people who think the fandom should be completely clean.

How are they able to prevent anyone from doing anything? Please give evidence.

Example 2.

it was an example of illegal activity in the fandom,

Reported easily, without a bit of prevention.

Example 3.

There's nothing wrong with going on TV

Chewfox was never prevented from speaking and going on TV. It's easy to give evidence that she meant to provoke reactions after she did, she wore a t-shirt saying so. This doesn't back up the hypothetical situation being speculated about. Attention whoring /= whistle-blowing.

Can you possibly find anything else that isn't grasping at straws? Please, avoid vague and insubstantial sensationalism, and we can all enjoy better quality writing here.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

If a weatherman says "I forecast that it's going to snow" you can't go up to him and go. "Prove that it snowed."

It hasn't snowed yet.

The closest example I can think of is not equivalent to this case because there have been no charges but lets just say the leader of a particular furry art site was asked by a member if they should press rape charges against a popular artist. Of course, this particular brand of leader is someone who tries to avoid drama, so his advise was to not go through with it. Many furs felt it was bad advise, some even painted it as criminal, using their position inappropriately. However this was not exactly a cover up since he was just asked advise and not given testimony from someone other then the accuser that rape had occurred.

Ironically the reason I'm being vague with the above is to avoid causing unnecessary drama myself, there was no charges brought and this case was revealed in itself using very unconventional means.

This is an editorial, there is a bit of conjecture, it's a different style then a factual article on past events which I have done as well. You're saying I'm wrong and I hope you're right. There is never anything wrong with being cautious though.

This article was written for furries more then the general public so perhaps I take a little liberty with information. I believe furries who have been around long enough have seen for themselves their example of when the word "drama" was used to try and drop a topic, even though there isn't anything wrong talking about it.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

There's nothing remotely comparable here to what a weatherman does. They look at patterns. There are none here.

"Let's just say" this article only makes sense from the opposite perspective, with the NJ BBQ incident as the only real example in it. It shows that nobody is intimidated from saying anything, the problem is that people are liable to leap to conclusions without thinking before they say things.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Alright then, lets look at the BBQ from a different perspective; from the EMT who was blackmailed.

How was he blackmailed?

Well, these politicans called his place of work and said they had these compromising photos of furries and because of that they were thinking of making cuts to their funding.

So why did this fur not ask for the photos in helping catch those responisble?

Was he worried about hurting our group by trying to help in the apprehension of those responsible?

If he wasn't worried about how bad it'd make the group look and instead worked it as a case of bringing bad individuals to justice then he would have forced their hand. If the politicians refused to show the evidence to witnesses that could help in the capture of the suspects and continued to simply use the ploy as a blackmail they would then be committing obstruction of justice. If they didn't have photos and were lying they would have committed slander. So either way they would have been screwed.

However, put in an unexpected situation those involved took the route of silence, trying to handle it internally instead of making a stink, where in this case making a stink would have been more preferable to our ends. They were too worried about causing drama.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Alright then, lets look at the BBQ from a different perspective; from the EMT who was blackmailed.

How was he blackmailed?

Well, these politicans called his place of work and said they had these compromising photos of furries and because of that they were thinking of making cuts to their funding.

So why did this fur not ask for the photos in helping catch those responisble?

From what I read about the incident, the organizers did ask for the set of photos in order to ID the supposed wrongdoers. But the local officials with the photos withheld the set from them.

And I'll agree with one point made earlier, this fandom is FAR more likely to admonish and demonize an individual, group, or event for a perceived incident, without any sure proof that it happened, than what the original poster is suggesting happens within the community instead.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Then I think their constituents would love to know that local officials are protecting criminals. Perhaps next time instead of donating to the EMTs we should be donating to a lawyer to file a subpoena against them.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

YES.

I'd be willing to pay money for this.

They deserve to be taken down a few notches, if not to prison.

Heaven is not a place, it's being with people who love you.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

There is a big problem with doing this however, according to the news article surrounding the BBQ case it seems the officials are saying "if anything else happens we'll have to cut ties with the EMT service."

So while it sounds good on paper to give them what for directly, it'd be like going after your boss legally, oh you can win the case, just don't expect to have a job when all is said and done.

I think these fine volunteers have been through enough, and the furries who work for them have had their fill of politicians that only NJ can produce.

At this point, furries know what happened, people who read the comments on these stories know what happened. The officials know what they did. I hope this violation of the 9th was worth it to them. Seems kind of a waste souls, if you're going to violate a commandment there are better things to do it with then crashing a furry party.

Your rating: None

i see. so they basically told all of us that if we went after them that they'd destroy the fire station's funding.

that seems a really cheap move.

most people don't read commentary on news stories, so people are unlikely to realize which politicians are to blame.

Heaven is not a place, it's being with people who love you.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Just realized after I posted #17 that I forgot to include one important facet.

By stating above the local officials withheld the photos from the organizers of the FurBQ, I implied that there are photos out there. But from what I've read about this (and I'll admit I haven't read all the news about the controversy), no one knows for sure yet whether or not such photos even exist.

Which makes me speculate if this is why the event organizers haven't pursued any action against the local authorities, nobody knows what's going on. It may have happened, it may not have happened; everyone has been left in the dark.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

I really don't know what you want to back it up. I can't show you people not saying something.

"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~

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

This is really easy. Give examples of intimidation, that indicate a pattern of people blocking reports of problems, as the article vaguely insinuates.

After 6 requests with nothing to show, that's enough. Don't bother.

The only example we have is people being too willing to spread rumors. The conclusion is: we should be more, not less skeptical towards reports about bad behavior.

"if you're going to make accusations, you show proof, or you shouldn't expect anyone to believe you."

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

If the report is blocked then we wouldn't know about it to show you. And no one said anyone was blocking anything. It was said that there was the possibility of intimidation due to the overreactions.

"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~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

LOL, listen to yourself.

If Santa Claus only comes while you're asleep, you can never see him. So how can we say he's a made-up story? You have to be really really smart to figure this one out.

I'm sorry to overextend the comments to such a great extent. You have to understand that vague, baseless calls for increased vigilance in America's hyperincarcerating society kind of make me want to puke a little.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

I can not offer examples of intimidation to silence legal issues in the fandom. There have been cases of child molesting Furries being arrested. They were all torn to pieces by the fandom. There have been cases of animal abusers in the fandom. They were reported to the law by Furries.

More commonly, there are cases of art theft and commission fraud, which the community provides entire sites devoted to calling such people out. And cases of Furries who tend to freeload and steal from other Furries. Wikifur articles tend to provide warnings about these people.

When it comes to any issue that involves the law, health or serious moral issues, this fandom has proved itself overly concerned and conscientious.

There is a political aspect to the fandom, though. But it is fandom politics. Mainly there are two factions divided over the issue of whether to play down Furry porn, or play it up. And in the past their political battles have been quite rude and oppressive to the common fan, who ordinarily doesn't care one way or another. He just consumes what he likes and doesn't care if other furs like something else.

Fortunately, the worst of that political mess is long behind us, and Furries in general have developed a live and let live attitude about the whole thing. I can't see us ever going down that road of insanity again.

Other types of manipulation and pressure in the fandom are the normal kind you would expect in a fandom. On 2 Gryphon's now defunked message board I once dared to criticize a certain video he had made. I then quickly learned it was politically incorrect to suggest the gryphon could do any wrong in front of his fandom.

And there are any number of such trivial issues over which trolls and political types will come out of the woodwork to put pressure on you.

One such issue is that some consider it politically incorrect to refer to anything made before 1980 as Furry. Another is the "It must be made by a Furry to be called Furry" issue. Along with other hotly contested but relatively trivial issues over which political types will offer incredible amounts of pressure to get you to go along with their point of view.

But that is the true nature of Furry politics. It is all about fandom issues that the outside world would regard as trivial in the extreme. I don't foresee it ever escalating into the range Sonious has projected.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

"Other types of manipulation and pressure in the fandom are the normal kind you would expect in a fandom. On 2 Gryphon's now defunked message board I once dared to criticize a certain video he had made. I then quickly learned it was politically incorrect to suggest the gryphon could do any wrong in front of his fandom."

I know this I was there. That is the idolization thing that could stem into bigger problem. Lucky for us 2 is just an opinionated guy but certainly isn't criminal. Those who have responsibility in this fandom and are put on a pillar mostly do seem to have their heads on straight, they may gaff once in awhile, but don't think any of them would cover something up like this.

If someone with a major fan base does do something criminal and one has evidence of such that's why my suggestion would probably not to put it on a forum, just go right to the police. Are you going to get flak from their fans? Sure. But if you go on the internet and make claims before making official charges then they'll claim you did it for attention rather then doing the right thing.

I do hope that they don't ever go that far. To me it's always best to prepare for all possibilities even if they never happen. It's better to be prepared then unprepared.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Is it better for them to hide that one of their own is harming children to prevent particular individuals from saying what they would about them anyway? Or to not get caught covering up for them so to see them and really make people suspicious of them as a group?

I think it is important here to acknowledge that, in spite of the amount of would be political manipulators in the internet community, when faced with serious issues like animal or child abuse, furs act on conscience, rather than political indoctrination like this article attempts to provide. (That is to say, it attempts to encourage the fandom as a whole to act in a certain way. It attempts to offer a way of acting for the good of the fandom, as opposed to one's normal reaction.)

The thing is, if you assume the majority of furs are so bad as to find some excuse to not call out a child molester when they encounter one, you're suggesting the fandom is predominantly made up of bad people. I know this not to be the case. We turn on our own all the time when we see them doing harm to others.

When in The Furry Community, everyone may assume the freedom to display what they’re into (if they can get it into a Furry context) but that implies no guarantee of acceptance or protection by the community. When it comes to illegal activities, you tip a Furry’s moral compass entirely at your own risk. If a fur thinks you deserve it, he’ll dial 911 as fast as anyone. And with all furs free to act in this manner when their conscience moves them to do so, the fandom can hardly be considered a safe haven for child or animal abusers.

Furs who act on their hearts don't need to be told the things in this article. While furs who start ascribing to some politically oriented code of Furrydom are in great danger of having their heart and conscience compromised by rhetoric.

When it comes right down to it, issues like animal and child abuse are not fandom issues. They are general moral issues. And a fandom is neither a church nor a political platform. We help our fellow fans enhance their enjoyment of anthropomorphic animals. It is not really our place to try to be shaping how our fellow fans think, feel or act. At least, not outside of an artistic context.

As I said in my response to another article, you can only legitimately influence the hearts and minds of Furry fans through artistic Furry creativity. Furry characters were originally established for the purpose of communicating ideas and making people think. And, in that way, it becomes the choice of the reader whether to accept and absorb the ideas the characters project. But it’s quite a different thing to personally preach to Furry fans – to try to establish for them a certain way they should think and act to be accepted as proper responsible Furries. That is not the place of a fandom.

By that same theory, it was improper for anyone to suggest a connection between the immoral actions of a few football officials with the overall institution of football and the overall football fandom. Fandoms do not unite people into an organized institution that projects a single idea or state of being. Fans always remain individuals who determine their moral stance for themselves.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

Wasn't trying to indoctrinate anyone to a particular thought point or say what things are or imply that this is what things are. Furry fans are good people in general, however they are still human. We are all still susceptible to the same whims that occur in any other organization.

I do feel that many in the fandom would do the right thing despite the consequences to them, my hope is that it would remain this way. It is important one remembers those roots as the grow, because we are growing. Without those roots the tree falls over.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

One thing I've noticed is that, in a 5 year period or less, the fandom tends to have such a turnover in active participants that the community has a perpetually short memory, particularly where articles like this one are concerned. The result is, the majority of the furs reading you at any given time have no cognizance of roots, and they will not remember anything you’ve previously written.

Another thing is, we're not an organization. Organizations have structure and positions of authority. They work towards specific, unified goals.

Also, I don't see a fandom as a tree. I prefer the community analogy. We're just this neighborhood where a lot of different kinds of people live, mainly because there's a Furry factory near the town that we depend on for our livelihood.

The thing that would threaten this community is not corruption. We all have our various religions and philosophies to see to our state of conscientiousness. But if the factory were to close, there'd no longer be a reason for the town to hold together.

The factory represents The Furry Arts. As long as they exist, The Furry Community will go through its various ups and downs, but will always survive. If ever anything happened that The Furry Arts were no longer there to need a fandom . . . Instant ghost town on the internet.

The Furry Arts are not sustained by the strength of roots. They are sustained by a flow of creativity, a freedom of expression, a willingness to dig for treasures that are more difficult to handle than the artistic properties other fandom communities depend on. If anything ever cuts off the supply of these materials from the factory, our town will be in trouble.

Sounds reasonably secure, but there is always someone out there trying to dam up the flow of creativity, outlaw freedom of expression, and convince us we shouldn’t take our work seriously. So there are threats to the community we should be addressing but aren’t. We have a generally distorted view of what we are, mainly because of the high volume of hyperbole we produce, when we should be creating something Furry.

If you don’t want the factory to close, we have to remember that our factory is supposed to produce Furry entertainment. Its business has nothing to do with protecting children or animals, new health care laws, religion, GBLT issues or anything of that nature. Our factory must always produce Furry goods of such quality as to keep the running of the factory profitable, or we’ll all be looking for a new town to migrate to.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Fair enough, I believe our concerns are the same. Idolization was one of the founding underlying concerns I placed on the article. Now this I believe I have seen happen plenty of times, we call it "white knighting".

If I was trying to control the conversation or say this is absolute truth and everyone should accept it then I would be trying to propagate the structure of which causes the problems in which there would be concern. At the very least it's a note that the people you idol whether they be a coach or an artist are nothing but people, and people can let you down.

I do agree it's not my best work. Even in the week that I finalized it to the point it was going to be published I was thinking of withdrawing it. I thank you guys for taking time to shoot holes in it because there are a few in this one I will admit.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

Hey, here's a helpful link.

White knighting doesn't mean blindly protecting an idol for the idol's sake. It means dramatically posturing about protecting helpless victims from harm, in a way that lets you grab the idol role.

Like when there's a dramatic accusation about bad furries harming children's morals at a BBQ, and

some politicians grandstand over various issues to appeal to the votes of Moral Guardians,

... skeptics ask for proof but there isn't any,

... some furries dramatically jump in to attack the villains, without verifying if it's a rumor,

... and other furries insinuate dire warnings about unspecified, yet worse harm that might happen if we call it drama.

We need more skepticism. :)

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Alright, skeptism...

No where did I say that people merely using the word drama would lead to anything, nor did I say we should stop using it all together.

The premise of the article was that making a decision that is immoral to avoid drama and thinking the problem will go away is what can lead to bad consequences.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

the premise is basically that it is immoral to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich and ignore problems thinking they'll just go away. isn't that correct?

Heaven is not a place, it's being with people who love you.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

If the thing you're "sticking your head in the sand" for is actually getting someone hurt then yes. In this case they were while children were actually being hurt.

Now if one is "sticking their heads in the sand" when something isn't actually immoral and isn't their business, that's a bit difference. For instance, a religious person who pushes their sense of morality on a stranger who is comfortable with who they are as a person isn't any more "moral" for doing so.

Your rating: None Average: 1.6 (7 votes)

If Jerry Sandusky was a furry, furs would be lining up to white-knight for him. ("Pederasty was considered an important part of the mentoring process in ancient Greece...") And send him money for his appeal fund -- only for him to blow it all on cub art commissions, ha ha.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

Well if that is true, guess football players aren't so different from furries then:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2011/11/some_former_penn...

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

I don't get sports fandoms or why they're comparable to art fandoms, like furry.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

For the most part, the similarity is that they're something a group of people enjoys doing and has a lot of fun with, even though a lot of others don't really understand what the big deal is.

One of the similarities is that both have a handful of particularly enthusiastic fans who like to get crazy and take their displays of enthusiasm to ridiculous extremes. Have you ever been watching a football game where they zoomed in on a small group of guys in the crowd who were wearing only jogging shorts and had painted their entire bodies in the colors of their team? Now you wouldn't believe for a minute that everyone who's a fan of that team is going to get crazy like that. The same is true of furries.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (6 votes)

"How much does one have to complain to be a big complainer versus just a little one?" or "If you complain a little, does that mean you're less cool then someone who doesn't complain at all?"

It doesn't matter. The point isn't about how much one complains and more about the complaining itself: Big Complainers are people who complain endlessly, yet provide no viable, positive solutions to the problems they complain about. The essays were written back when people who hadn't attended a Furry convention in over a decade were making pronouncements about how awful conventions were; when people who claimed to be concerned about Furry fandom's image were telling anyone who would listen to them what a cesspit it was; when people who had a problems at conventions would wait until they got home to rant about it on alt.fan.furry instead of doing something about it there at the convention; when people tried to try to kick people out of a fandom that anyone could join.

There are plenty of Cool Furries that complain, but they complain to people who can do something about the problem and (hopefully) fix it. The Big Complainers just complain to other Big Complainers on their Big Complainer message boards, because if the problem got fixed they wouldn't have anything to complain about. Therein lies the difference.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Thanks for clearing that up.

I kind of guessed that it was a reflection of the time that it was written, having gone through some of the history of the fandom, particularly the late 90s early naughts. The media wasn't so kind to us as they are today. We were the new thing to poke.

Are there some people that do seem to live in the drama? Sure. I had meeting with one at Anthrocon as they had invited me to dinner. When I met up with him and another fur the first topic out of their mouth was the NJ BBQ which at that point I hadn't read about since I don't bring my internet with me to the few conventions I go to. I have plenty of other time to do that. Since I didn't read about it I had nothing to contribute to that conversation. As soon as I read it I was one of the first to be skeptical and had posted on the place that I thought the incident was being exaggerated for political gain. Many of the regulars on that forum felt my accusation insane. Things change in a month.

I had also learned that a post they had made on FA was a "joke", one I felt that was in poor taste. It was the start of a thinking process for me on the direction I wanted to go. This person was a friend and they considered me one as well. However, I don't think the fandom is for that kind of showmanship. Making a statement just to see people's reaction. It seems kind of a power trip to me to do such a thing and was a caution flag to the person's underlying personality. One which had me tell them that I didn't look to further the relationship, to which they terminated our friendship.

As time goes on, I feel it was the right decision.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

I agree with the sentiment behind this post, however.

Anti-drama is going to only make problems worse.

When "drama" turns out to be legitimate concerns, people will have ignored those concerns for far too long.

Heaven is not a place, it's being with people who love you.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Having been through a lot of it, I think I can state pretty clearly what's the difference between Drama and a real problem that should be seen to...

Drama: "So-and-so did this bad thing to me, and this other someone did this other bad thing to me, and this OTHER other someone did something ELSE bad to me and... well, everyone's just mean and bad in general to poor little me. Waaaah!"

Also Drama: "So-and-so is bad. I can't give you any specific reason, but I don't like them and so they're bad. Everybody should shun them to make poor little me happy!"

NOT Drama: "So-and-so did this specific bad thing to me. Help!"

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (6 votes)

I just got all of Sniff Heinkel's sockpuppet accounts banned from FurAffinity. I don't know if that counts as "drama", but it was certainly amusing.

Silly Heinkel thought that just because we both hate CigarSkunk, I'd cut him some slack. Silly Heinkel didn't realise I'm an equal-opportunities agitator.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

Hate is a wasteful emotion. Most of the people you hate don't know you hate them, and the rest don't care. It's said that hating someone is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <img> <b> <i> <s> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <sub> <sup> <object> <embed> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <dl> <dt> <dd> <param> <center> <strong> <q> <cite> <code> <em>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This test is to prevent automated spam submissions.

About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a Kangaroo from Syracroose, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, philosophy and writing