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Furlandia: Portland's first furry convention overshadowed by MTV controversy

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (8 votes)

Furlandia splash, by Marco the CatA convention can be made or broken on one simple principle: communication. It can seem so simple to do, but when the number of people you’re trying to do it with goes up, it becomes a complex issue.

In the modern (mis)information era, public relations has changed from a hassle typically tossed to the side 'til bad news arises, to a demanding necessity where your job is to prevent strife before it occurs. Slacking can cause a brushfire that one has but a single extinguisher to put out.

Which brings us to an example of such unfortunate episodes: Furlandia, the third new furry convention to spawn in the past two months. This one was held in Portland, Oregon. 270 showed up and over $1,000 was donated to PAW Team, which provides veterinary care for the pets of impoverished locals. The donation comes with an asterisk, though, as it came from MTV; fans threw in $6. [Update: Comments suggest this only reflects Sunday's count.]

I was not at the convention; however, I know some who were, and I’ve looked into all sides with an open mind and am giving my best assessment. Most importantly: I’m evaluating why this incident blew up as it did, so that future convention leaders can avoid undue stress.

First year hiccups

Before we get to the meat and potatoes of the problem, here's some appetizers that arose before the MTV crew even showed up.

While the convention was slated to go for three days, as most do, a last-minute announcement was made that only a dance was to occur on Friday, and the dealer’s den would not be opened. The announcement was only made via Twitter, on the Thursday before the convention - and those participating in the den were not informed by other means. (A reliable source also says there was no way for dealers to identify minors.)

While the dealer’s den is the smallest I’ve ever seen (via photo), security was an issue. An artist said the room was left unguarded and open at one point. Another Twitter user said they were able to enter to pick up an order and leave without their convention badge.

The convention's Twitter feed was not as informative the staff’s own personal feeds. There were only two announcements on @Furlandia between the convention's start and its end: Nordguard cards available and the Sibe panel.

Said panel also sparked a small controversy, given its host's reputation within the fandom — however, if one is to host a infamous individual, it’s not a bad idea to make them feel they’re contributing without giving them too much power. It’ll keep them from trying to draw attention to themselves by causing trouble and they’ll defend you for giving them a chance. Maybe they’ll see other ways to contribute to the group that can draw positive attention to oneself, or strive to move beyond past bad behavior? Lo and behold; no behavioral issues were reported from Sibe, and no bans presented. He enjoyed Furlandia, too, so he’ll probably try to avoid trouble there in the future so as not to risk being removed.

Still, that @Furlandia only advertised his panel suggested to outsiders that there was little more to the con than a panellist with a clouded past. Once again, it all falls on communication: tell us more about what’s going on, and where. Most attendees can’t tell the staff members by name, let alone their Twitter handles; talking on those is not talking to the con. If you’ve made a centralized feed, why not use it to its fullest extent?

MTV arrives on the scene

Eventually the lack of communication both within the convention and with the outside fandom came to a head. Attendees started to wonder what was going on when production teams and cameras began to show up. It didn’t take long for someone to announce that MTV had arrived. According to the PR director, an announcement had been made at opening ceremonies; no written notification had been given.

For those yet unaware, furries and Viacom have gotten along as well as a cattle rancher and PETA. Our first encounters were with MTV's Sex2K, and of course CSI. Anyone with any knowledge of media history within the fandom would have been able to see this storm a mile off.

Worse, while Furlandia staff accused Twitter users of misinformation, they (perhaps accidentally) engaged in it themselves. On April 19, they responded to a tweet from Sibe concerning rumors of MTV's attendance, insinuating that they’d be escorted off. Long story short, they were not, because the star of their upcoming furry show was none other than their head of PR. He gives his take on the criticisms here. MTV was there to cover the convention logistics, and himself, not the convention-goers. Those who wanted to allow themselves to be filmed had to sign a wavier.

So why the blow up? Because this was not communicated effectively to the public until after the convention. Without information, people filled in the blanks with what would always be the worse case scenario. Saph knew that MTV was filming him prior to the convention, and he had to have known he was going to have at the convention to cover it as part of his biography. In fact the volunteer coordinator post-convention statement shows private meetings for two months prior to the convention. However, while announcing it at the opening ceremony there was no other warning to convention-goers that MTV was going to be present under strict guidelines. In fact, @Furlandia still insinuated they were NOT invited. Not everyone is a fan of surprises, and some attendees were probably a bit miffed at opening ceremonies – that is, if they were there at all.

How will MTV's final product impact the fandom? Well, it’s a roll of the dice. Worse case: this is only the beginning of the headaches for Saph. If the biography harms the fandom, he and Furlandia will probably suffer. However, I think he might have lucked out. My guess is Viacom is desperate to redeem themselves to furries. All these conventions have shut them out because of the history we have with them. They may see this as an opportunity to earn the fandom’s trust – and if they have any brains left, they’ll know this ‘in’ is an opportunity. Furlandia is the first in a long while to say ‘yes’. What interest would it be of MTV’s to destroy it? It would only ensure their banishment from every furry convention, especially new ones. Furlandia is their last hope. (If any of the True Life crew are reading this, keep that in mind as you go to the editing boards.)

MTV could be seen to be like Sibe. They’re going to behave themselves because this convention was nice to them, and they've been barred from others. Both may be looking to work their way back to some neutrality with the fandom and shake off their infamy. If that is the case, they both face a long and arduous journey — and I wish them luck in it.

Advice for con-runners

Furlandia says it is go for next year; that it’ll be better, and do better. I do hope that is the case, but there is a lot to be done. The first step is to admit there were issues, and not joke that these were all the manifestation of over-active imaginations. Some may have been; but they would not have even started had misinformation not sprouted from the lack of information. You can’t blame a higher-than-expected turnout; other first-time conventions this year had that, but it didn’t lead to similar controversy.

That leap from a meet to a convention is a world of difference. The furry world is watching: artists want to sell their swag at a place close to home to cut travel costs, fans are looking for great individuals to hang out with (thought this is usually never an issue with a furry convention), and fun events to pass the time with. You need to balance these needs with those of your hotel and the region – and not steal the spotlight (purposefully or accidentally). Let it be their convention, not yours. It’s thankless work when done right, and scathing when done wrong.

No one’s saying it’s easy. I’ve listened to stories from con chairs who’ve poured their heart and souls into their events. Furries want to see these be successful, which is why we are vocal when we see things going wrong. It’s not just drama; it’s to prevent repeat mistakes.

There are two types of articles about conventions on WikiFur: those that say “is”, and those that say “was”. Both faced issues; took hits and criticism. The key is being able to detect what the actual problems are (distinguished from those insignificant to the running of the convention), and solve them — which starts by listening to those who offer advice, even if they don’t do it in an elegant or even nice fashion.

Many furs who were giving you flack, sure, they don’t care if you fail or not. They already have their events. Here’s the thing, though; local conventions are important, and not just to those that run them. They are important for showing local citizens what our fandom is all about (though not necessarily the world via MTV). They are important because they local furs feel comfortable being a fur amongst those who aren’t. They are important because not everyone can make the haul to Anthrocon, or Midwest FurFest, or even RainFurrest. They are counting on you.

They count on you to make those “who didn’t show up” this year and who you say have “no right to judge” comfortable enough to show up. Especially the industrious artists and crafters who draw fans in. To make sure there is sufficient cashflow to keep things going. Furlandia broke even this year, which is OK. Staff say they sacrificed their own bank accounts, which shows commitment. However, you can’t rely on that forever. When your pockets run dry trying to keep the con alive without the artists and registrations to support it, who can locals turn to for their events?

So trust me when I say this: Work on communication: with your staff, with the hotel, with the furries at the convention and not. Don’t be afraid to ask those with more experience for advice. I offered some basic tips here; it’s up to you to shrug them off or incorporate them. More advanced logistics are beyond my ability. Hopefully MTV will allow you a chance to improve your future cons and not drag you into the pits of infamy.

As for others thinking of running their own conventions: Take your time. Don’t say “I want to do a convention.” and then try to do one that year. Take at least a full year to prepare yourself and your team. Give yourself time to do research on hotels and scour the town for good locales. Attendees are not going to care if you only had three months. They’re paying to be there. They’re only going to see the end result and not all will give a con a second chance if things messed up due to rushing. This is true of everything in the business world, and conventions are a business. Viacom can tell you; furries aren’t quick to forgive, and first impressions are lasting. I leave you with this quote from Rocky Balboa:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!

For those who attended and want to share their thoughts and stories, please do so below. What was your favorite thing? What could use work? I’d love to hear more first-hand accounts, and I think it’d be good for those who haven't looked into the opinions spread out all over the place to put them into one centralized location. Lastly, here’s to a better 2014! I wish the Portland team luck on their future endeavors.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (6 votes)

For what it's worth to convention organizers everywhere--

I've seen MTV at work on the camera's lens end, and it wasn't a pretty picture. My experience is that these people are to be trusted three ways-- never, never, and never! If I attended a con after all this fandom has suffered through with MTV in particular and the media in general and then found out _after I'd arrived_ that this most despicable of all media organizations was in any way welcome _anywhere_ on site, well... I'd raise such a stink (both on the spot and afterwards) that all the Febreeze in the world wouldn't make it better and walk out of the con despite the money I'd already spent, trying all the while to take as many people as possible with me. And I _still_ wouldn't feel like I'd done enough to harm such an irresponsible and possibly irredeemably stupid organization!

I'll die still hating MTV. Forgiveness is impossible; for three minutes of lurid footage they'll willingly damage young lives, and for the victims the fallout goes on and on and on. The first time this mistake was made, it was understandable and forgivable due to lack of experience. But by now we really ought to know better. Are some of us completely incapable of learning from the past, or what?

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

Indeed, when reading the statements given by the volunteer organizer it sounded like a lot of effort was going into keeping MTV in check, to make sure they were being escorted. They were understaffed, and I think a task such as babysitting a news crew and keeping up with the normal things would be daunting even for a larger and more equipped con.

MTV is like the blundering curious child 'scientist' who wants to learn more about how ants work, and to take a curious look held up a magnifying glass to take a close work, but the measuring glass was held in such a way where the ants were disrupted. If they were curious about fandom logistics I'm sure we can provide information via stock footage. Or heck, maybe we could do an article on furry convention logistics and they can come here to read about it. Oh but that doesn't 'sell' or 'make money'. Indeed education isn't about that I thought you were interested in knowledge... ppphhhft.

Personally I think those that go "Well someone has to talk to MTV or the worse of us will" are well meaning but wrong. No one HAS to talk with MTV. MTV is not a news organization, they are not a scientific organization. If people want to learn about furry, then tell them to stop watching MTV you won't learn about it there, heck you shouldn't learn anything from there except for music. MTV is part of a dying medium, let us not keep it on life support, it knows what it needs to survive people gripe about it all the time (MUSIC!). If it wants to die, let it die.

If you asked people "What is furry?" and "What is MTV?" I think people would be able to give a more accurate answer to the former then the later. I don't think MTV even knows what MTV is anymore.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (8 votes)

Lots of misinformation here. For your information we pulled the plug. The production company. Not MTV. Hope you all enjoyed the donation.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

EDIT: Ah, okay, so you're saying that production of the show that footage was gathered for was canceled? Good information to know. Thanks for sharing. So then the guesses on the impacts the footage will have on the future of the convention are null and void since it won't be shared, but that was written with the information I had at the time.

That part was conjecture anyway, as I would feel would be evident, or a prediction based on possible outcomes. That's not 'misinformation' per say. The rest I still feel stands.

I apologize your investment didn't pan out.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

If you wish to provide your own perspective as casting director, you are welcome to do so. At Flayrah, the published story is just the start of the conversation.

Regardless, I'm sure PAW Team will put the money to good use. Hopefully next year, fans will step up (I'm sure they can).

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (10 votes)

For the last several years, i have been extremely aggravated by the complete and utter lack of transparency and honesty in the furry fandom. When the best hope we have in the fandom is a scripted bobblehead like Kage who keeps preaching that we're all rainbows, unicorns and fuckin' perfect in the presence of a media outlet when he knows the type of people getting past the proverbial velvet sheath in this communal cult of personality, there's not very much hope for any semblance truth in it either.

How do we try to at least attempt to create a neutral concept of the fandom in the minds of the general public at large when we're too busy watching our every move and peering over everyone's shoulder to ensure what anyone's saying is ONLY postive to the fandom's image? If what everyone has discussed in this article (both OP and commenters) is true, then it bodes badly for the community since it continues to propogate this idea that we continuously hide behind a veil of cowardice and secrecy and noone will be able to figure it out since we so fascistically shut out the so-called "mundanes" from any sort of inside knowledge about the community.

But then, of course, if people who actually consider themselves journalists had done any reference work about the fandom's past, they also would've found out long ago about people like Roj and their past involvement with interest groups (to put it mildly) outside of fandom - if you were watching his livejournal back in the day, you'd know who and what i'm referring to...

Arrogance and ignorance ALWAYS go hand in hand with the fandom - but if some of the people involved would at least own up and be all inclusive with their disclosures, it would make things seem a bit more normal for those who don't think we are.

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (9 votes)

You sound bitter for some reason. No idea who you're referring to, lost you in the middle of the rant. What you're trying to get at might be clearer if there was any way to tell who you are. Apparently lack of transparency has it's uses.

Rainbows, unicorns and perfection are annoying, so is axe grinding.

Why is Kage a best hope? Why not speak for yourself? Isn't being a fan a DIY activity? The word "fandom" is getting old. Nobody forces you to associate with people you don't choose to be friends with or watch. If other people don't get your hobby, you don't have to share it with them.

"Fascistically shut out the so-called "mundanes" from any sort of inside knowledge about the community"

I've never heard anyone non-ironically say "mundanes". Here's an idea... maybe this hobby is a really trivial thing to obsess about, the past doesn't matter except to devotees who like it, and most other people couldn't care one way or the other what goes on inside it. At worst, they ignore it.

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (9 votes)

Well now I know we're balanced because we have one person claiming we're too opaque while someone like Xxydex rants we're too transparent when we post the stories that show that there are furries who do *gasp* bad things and get in trouble. Like any other group of people ever.

It's interesting you're of the opinion that Kage is some sort of squeaky clean guy who's presenting a PG only portrayal of the fandom. In relativity to the mainstream of humanity he actually crosses 'the line' quite often to the point where I wouldn't want my grandmother (who isn't as socially accepting as Kage's was) in the room cause he's going to say something that would make her ears red even when we're talking about the media. There were at least two youngers in the room and he says phrases like:

"Some people will get in front of a camera and go "I like to shove a newspaper up my ASS" -- and you wonder 'what's gotten into you... besides the newspaper?'" not necessarily a kid friendly concept, but it's a blunt way to make his point about how tactlessly transparent people can be.

You can be transparent, but you need to be tactful of it.

If there is one thing that is agitating it's people who confuse translucency with dishonesty. That if you don't share absolutely everything about yourself you're a coward/liar. No, because then everyone is and I'll prove it to you right now.

You came here anonymously and with the title "a concerned fur..." why not show who you are? Why be opaque about that? What's your social security number? What's your address? Heck, all of us here are under psudonyms, why not share our real names? How transparent do you want us to be here?

Why would any sane person not share some of that information? Because people can use it against you and there are some people who are more then happy to do so.

Before you tell someone a truth you need to be sure they can both handle the truth and they don't look to use the information to harm you (AKA are a good person). If you don't abide by that standard I'm rather sure you've been burned by your own philosophy in the past. I theorize you've had people you thought you knew end up using information you provided to hurt you.

Once again, when I look at the extremes on a subject matter I see falicies in both. Whether it be you saying we need to be as clear as Krystal('s clothes) about every little nook and cranny of our fandom, or Xxydexx who feels we need to put up a China-like firewall regarding anything that could possible make us look flawed; I say you're both wrong. You need to be open when lack of information can cause harm, you need to be closed when giving information can cause harm.

As far as MTV goes, I don't think their target audience are people who can handle the truth. They are image based people who portray a flawlessness of themselves who look for the flaws in others to feel better about themselves. It's very much a network of schadenfreude. Not as bad as TMZ, but close enough in my mind. You think we're being opaque? You've never met someone who's a TMZ fan have you?

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (10 votes)

Maybe i do sound bitter and jaded - between dealing with muck purists back in 2001 and the ED Ottergate drama of '07, i've become skeptical of the fandom's supposedly well-meaning nature - but i've seen so much assholery from furs involved in the fandom who go on witchunts against people who open up about their involvement with this (think Chewfox) on some open and public forum (press or otherwise), especially when it presents an image that differs from the collective herd mentality that it should still be swept under the rug and hidden from any sort of outside knowledge/influence, and at best, it seems commune-like in the way some of the fandom conducts itself.

This fandom would never handle the truth if someone actually had the balls and courage to tell it, because to take notes and name names goes against every ideal they hold dear as members of this community. And yes, being upfront about identity is a double-edged sword since just as much as you can use it to warn people on who to avoid, it will also draw attention to you as well and they'll start coming after you as a result of your own statements, which leads to the following: if you're still confused by whom i was discussing about in the OC, i am referring to the fur formerly known as RojAdrik, who has had past ties to white supremacist and pro-arayan groups in Virginia according to the posts he made in the friends-filtered entries that he had posted back in 2003-07 prior to switching over to the borderfuck nick - and deleting all his previous discourses on the account to cover his own ass. If i posted my furry nick on this thread (and considering the type of company in the fandom he keeps), they'd probably come after me as well as much as they went after Cyan for the hyper-militant comments on how to deal with trolls in the fandom, losing his position in FWA staff over it because they went postal on TygerCowboy over his statements.

The fandom hides - and vehemently protects - people like this that crawl amongst us. Besides, the press statements that Kage does give to media outlets who decide to cover fandom activity still strike me as creepily Goebbelish in their nature. And since some of the biggest and most powerful figures in it are also seemingly interested in only catering to the lowest common denominators in the community, i feel it will be less about the craft and only geared towards serving the asshats in the group. For some in the fandom, this is nothing more than an expendable toga party - and the only people worth shoving your bank accounts and chequebooks toward are the ones who give you not only that sense of security, but also the products, needs and resources that you desire.

As someone who is still technically only involved with the online faction of this group, i can only be informed by what i see and read from the transmitted text-discussion-du-jour relating to the issues of the day. And if i only have these ideas to go on about per diem the fandom as a generalized collective whole, how can i even think about having a more active involvement with it beside being nothing more than just a disembodied avatar who's seemingly passing text messages to an increasingly infinite web of brick walls?

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

Do you need a hug? Maybe you should relax with a book and a cup of tea, and avoid obsessing about the internet for a while? This doesn't sound at all calm and collected. I still have no idea what you're trying to accomplish. I can't muster up an ounce of concern about personal drama or mistakes by lone individuals i've never heard of and have no reason to associate with. I don't think it belongs in a conversation about professionals who were trying to make a tv show.

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (7 votes)

I'm sorry if i come across that way, but listening to Boomer & Rico on Doggy Radio last night discuss some of what was supposedly happening at the con during the show and how some of the attendees were acting toward the crew - apparently, from from the topic discussions they had read, there were some hostile comments and bird-flipping made by several participants there - i just felt so infuriated by the subject that i had to rant on this subject since this type of standoffish behavior doesn't make things any easier for us.

And what's this about me needing a hug? That sounds just about as trollish as a 4channer saying "Cool story, bro" before they and their friends roast you over an open e-fire, and not even Doom music can save you from that. Just give me some honesty and accountability and i'd feel at least a little bit more comfortable about being a part of the fandom...

And speaking of TMZ from earlier, their M.O. is sarcastic coverage about the excess of celebrity lifestyle, just as much as MTV continues to be the bastion of shallow impudence for the American youth of today... Why the rest of the site's staff keep harping on Harvey on the show though, i'll never know.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

Sadly it's a human nature to pack up and throw individuals under the bus if it makes a group look bad, particularly minority groups who are more easily generalized. This is why we try and warn furs BEFORE they go on these shows about the risks if they do. We can't control what individual fans are going to do to the actions other fans take, as much as people think we somehow can.

As far as the Chewfox thing, I've mentioned time and time again that Chewfox herself didn't slander the fandom. None of her own words were damaging when taken alone. However the environment she was in; she was just there as the mannequin to put their definition on. I recall the host and show defining that "Furry are people that have sex in animal costumes" not once, not twice, but three times before they even allowed Chewfox to speak. Though her definition was not equal to that of the show the show had already defined her, and the tone of the interview.

However, there was apt warning. The inquiry sent out was on "strange bedroom behavior", there was internet posts throwing a yellow flag at this when it first arose. Unfortunately someone took the bait because they didn't have fear of the consequences. The camera is a beast, one that can defend the weak or devour them depending on the hands its in.

I'm not saying I agree with furry behavior of throwing those who make a fool of themselves in from of the media under the bus is a positive behavior, however it cannot be ignored and is something that really needs to be in one's mind when they approach them. It is what it is.

Shows of the later don't tend to survive these days, Tyra Banks is no longer on the air. Oprah survived longer because she did good works as much as she did those 'shock' shows if not more so.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (8 votes)

Warn them - or stifle their right to freedom of speech and expression via pressure and cyber-harassment? We all know what happened in the fallout of her appearance on Tyra's show - and some even took it upon themselves to even leave death threats against her and her husband in it's wake. That's the part of the fandom i'm increasingly worried about - but since your statement seems to advocate this type of behaviour, i can't question your logic.

Once again, i feel like i'm just hitting a brick wall with you and Pack.
It seems typical whenever i try every once in a blue moon to express my opinion, but people just want to feed me the same lies to conform me into their way of thinking.
I give up.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

I think the point Sonious was trying to make is that there are always going to be furries who are going to react that way to any kind of "slander" of their beloved fandom. However, I agree that the line between warning someone and threatening (or at least seeming to threaten) them with consequences is a pretty slim one.

I'm certainly no fan of the witch-hunts against people like Chewfox. In general I think the fandom's reputation would be better if we were a little more honest. That's not to say that we should come out with every last detail in every circumstance, which is unnecessary and would be a little weird. I think the trend is toward acknowledging more aspects of the furry fandom when asked about them, which is a good thing, as denial of something which is actually quite easy to find just makes people stop trusting the things you say.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

Let's not pretend like ChewFox is a saint.

She went around and hyped herself up as a troll at the next three conventions she went to , to the point of having convention security concerned that she was intentionally trying to get someone to fight her and her boyfriend. She wore a shirt at one time that said "Fuck Dragoneer" all around the convention. Etc.

I'm not too concerned with what happens to her. She knew what she was getting into before, got her 30 pieces of silver, and then continued to troll after.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

I wasn't aware of that, though I would be curious to know whether it was before or after she was raked over the coals. If it was before I would kind of understand why she got the treatment she did. If it was after I don't think that excuses the behavior in either direction.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (6 votes)

Sure, Chewfox and Tomcat aren't saints...

But then again, a lot of these parasitic wastes of cumshot who so have the balls and nerve to consider themselves furries sure know how to turn people into pariahs when they don't play by the rules.

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

"As far as MTV goes, I don't think their target audience are people who can handle the truth. They are image based people who portray a flawlessness of themselves who look for the flaws in others to feel better about themselves. It's very much a network of schadenfreude. Not as bad as TMZ, but close enough in my mind. You think we're being opaque? You've never met someone who's a TMZ fan have you?"

MTV is indeed an especially evil case. The same day I witnessed MTV ruin lives, I watched the BBC cover the same furry event professionally, courteously, and with a smile. I even went on camera for them, and don't regret it. MTV's cameraman, however, played all the Psych 101 games that no responsible reporter should ever be involved in. He spent at least an entire evening that I know of with the group before doing interviews, carrying the camera the whole time in order to get people used to its presence. He also wore ears and a tail even though not a fur to promote a sense of intimacy and brotherhood. In short, the man did everything possible to get people to trust him before knowingly and willfully betraying them. When the interviews began, he asked softball questions to fully-suited individuals, then grew steadily more and more intimate until they were discussing highly personal bedroom matters with the camera grinding away. Then he'd have them remove their head and give their real name and grow more intimate still. Frankly at first I couldn't believe that people were falling for such an obvious approach... Until I recalled that I was much older than most of the others. They were naive, was all. Easy victims.

What was I doing this whole time? Remaining off-camera and frothing at the mouth because my then-wife (who knew this was going to take place but hadn't told me because she suspected (correctly) that I'd refuse to attend the event) thought the whole thing was a fine idea! I did try to talk everyone I could out of signing a release, particularly the people I knew better than the others. But most of them signed anyway, and the rest is MTV history. Eventually the cameraman grew angry with me for trying to "obstruct" his film-making; I grew angry as well until he backed down. If I hadn't been trying to save an already rocky marriage he'd have lost a pricey camera and some choice footage that day, and the "MTV Special" would never have happened. Today I wish it'd gone down that way-- the marriage folded regardless and in this rude, imperfect world we live in there are things well worth going to jail for.

I guess my point is this. Some "journalists" are voyeuristic predators who will do anything for a buck, while others (like the good BBC people mentioned above) are not. Based on experience, a lot of furs are going to have enormous trouble picking out the predators from the Good Citizens until it's far, far too late. It's the duty of we furs who _can_ tell the difference-- and this _absolutely_ needs to include con-staffs-- to protect the rest of the fandom from bottom-feeding quasi-journalistic scum as much as we possibly can. MTV has proven itself to be the epitome of such scum, and I'll not willingly associate myself with anyone who has dealings with them.

Forgive me if this reads more awkwardly then usual. I'm so angry, even all these years later, that I'm shaking a bit as I type this.

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I'm no expert but I think the BBC generally does a much better job than any of the American TV networks. The BBC seems to take time to learn about what it's talking about and then addresses the topic while American shows seem to only show a tiny little bit on the surface, never going any deeper. I remember I noticed this especially when I was watching The Dark Side of Porn. It's a BBC documentary series about porn. It spends ages following people around and has many graphic scenes (or at least as graphic as allowed) and gives real detail. Then I watched some American documentary also on sex but the most you saw were pretty much staged kissing shots and superficial discussion with few opportunities to learn.

It must be something about the networks because the independent, American documentary Graphic Sexual Horror again went deep into the subject matter.

"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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The difference is that the BBC is paid for already, and the other shows are paying for MTV/etc.

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Yah right you pulled the plug
https://twitter.com/alexshawtv

Your right back at it. What its going take to realize the gig is up ; by the way you played your cards already

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Wow...

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What do you mean? How does that show dishonesty?

So they're still casting for a show after they pulled the plug on that specific venue. It seems that the venue and subjects weren't working out. She didn't say they canceled the show. This is what casting is for... to find the right people.

I'm in touch with a rep from the company and may have an interview to post later. It's because a lot of creative young people want jobs making shows and things that furries are fans of. They may not want jobs at MTV, but it helps to know how professional TV works in general. I think they may appreciate the perspective.

I teach college kids and help them get jobs. Who here is mature enough to enjoy a neutral discussion about aiming above amateur fandom and going pro? You can have both.

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Just be careful that the shortcut one takes isn't a dead end.

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Who said anything about shortcuts? Patch is proposing we do something difficult.

Furries spend a lot of time complaining about how we have been "mistreated" by people who don't "understand" us. No one has stopped to consider that perhaps the reason why the furry fandom is routinely described by non-furries as worthless, disgusting people is because a lot of furries are worthless, disgusting people.

In case you guys haven't noticed, people don't like furries. They really don't like furries. And that's part of the problem; you won't even admit that. The next post replying to this is going to be someone saying people don't hate us. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, you will not even admit it to yourselves. Perhaps the reason why the "haters" hate us is not because "haters gonna hate" or because they "just don't understand." Perhaps they hate us because we are hateable.

Don't think of this as MTV asking us for a second chance; if you look at from MTV's point of view, they could be the ones giving us a second chance at a first impression.

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"I teach college kids and help them get jobs. Who here is mature enough to enjoy a neutral discussion about aiming above amateur fandom and going pro? You can have both."

I'm assuming he's talking about using MTV to "go pro", in that case what I'm saying is be aware that the person who feels they are using them might end up being the one getting used and to be aware of that. Nothing wrong with caution.

And no, I haven't noticed, people are mostly clueless about furries, we're not as important as we like to think we are. Likewise MTV isn't as important as you think they are. Most people's first impressions are seeing people in some hotel and going, "what the heck is going on here? What's with all the costumers?"

We wouldn't need a second chance at a first impression (which by the way makes no sense), if they hadn't blown their first impression, and their second...

If someone wants to stick their neck out, I'm not going to stop them, I'm not going to judge them. I'm just going to say, to me, they have to provide evidence they aren't who they made themselves out to be. I don't care if they're not asking us for a second chance, they have far more to prove then we do.

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Man, I should have bet money.

First post; "People don't hate us!"

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Remind me again how many people you've seen interacting with furries in real life (and not on a television screen)?

The people who express the lowest opinion of furries are those closest to them, because they want to distinguish themselves as a group. We've seen that with non-brony furry opinions of bronies (it wasn't found in the other direction because the bronies in the sample also considered themselves furries).

People don't hate us. If they did, we'd be facing real discrimination, not people making fun of us on the Interwebs.

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In case you guys haven't noticed, people don't like furries. They really don't like furries. And that's part of the problem; you won't even admit that.

We won't "admit" that because it doesn't fit our experience, or the evidence. Perhaps you've been hanging out too long with the "haters" that you started to believe what they say?

My own experience at conventions and elsewhere is that the average person is merely confused or mildly amused by furries. I've talked with trolls and they freely admit they're just trying to get a rise out of furries by disparaging them; they don't care what we're like. We might as well be homosexuals, the mentally disabled, or any other subgroup of the population readily-distinguishable as "different".

As for those producing shows like True Life, Alex admits it: they're looking for a personal story, and they don't really care what the story is, just as long as it's dramatic enough. The furry part is just a hook to get people interested and which they expect will lead to drama. This is made more obvious by the episode titles, almost all of which start with "I" or "I'm".

In both cases, our interaction with these groups is unprofitable because they seek to use us as a means to an end - in the first, as an ego boost; in the second, as a source of exploitable talent.

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First of all, I'm still SO fucking right about the "nobody hates us, crossie" reply. You have to give that too me. You can't say that I didn't fucking know you were going to reply with what you did. Because it's right fucking there. In my post. I said you were going to say it, and you guys fucking said it.

Second of all, who cares they don't care about us and just want to tell and interesting story; take the implied compliment, i.e. we're interesting. And stop worrying about other people using you because that's what people like about people; what we provide. And furries don't provide shit, so we're useless, so people hate us.

And that's it right there; that's the story you told me in that email about the raccoon puppet and I wasn't impressed. That person; she's your friend because she's a furry, not in spite of it. See, my story is I knew this guy at work, and he was kind of geeky (we liked to talk about the Internet and stuff) and one day he found this silly little bracelet some dumb customer left behind and he wore it because it was funny, but it had butterflies and they were pastels and pink (obviously this was a bracelet intended for small girls) and I called him Fluttershy, AND OH NO HE GOT IT, and I tried to play it off like I was being ironic and I made some joke about Applejack being best pony anyway, AND OH NO HE DIDN'T GET IT, because he'd just come across some Fluttershy meme or some shit on Reddit (I think), so I just decided, fuck it, time to come clean, I mean, whatever, so I just said, well, yeah, I really actually like My Little Pony, and also I'm a furry. And this is the part where you expect him to join up with at least the bronies because that's the way your little furry head works, but, no, as far as I know he's never so much as watched five seconds of a MLP episode even though it's fucking free on YouTube still or still gives a flying fuck at a donut for cartoon animals, anthropomorphic, zoomorphic or whateverthefuckomorphic, but that doesn't matter because it's not about recruiting leaders for the swarm or whatever the fuck you people are doing. It's about respect.

Yeah, make fun of me for trying to take a viewpoint that isn't my own; but you know what, I spent years on Portal of Evil, FUCKING YEARS, on that site, fighting them. You fucks haven't done that; yeah, that's what I'm gonna call you. Fucks. You fucks haven't done that because it's hard to take the abuse. Yeah, and it was stupid, and probably I shouldn't have done it. Maybe I went native; maybe. I would probably, admittedly, not be the best judge there. But the point is, it's hard to be constantly under attack. And furries can't take it; they can't. Every time things get tough, they go to their own little furry section of the Internet and stroke each other's egos and also probably dicks and assure each other "we're okay, nothing wrong here." And never actually listen to what is being said to them. Yeah, a lot of it's shit, but not all of it. And some of the it that isn't shit, you should listen to. Because it's kind of genuinely concerning.

Okay, another boring story. So, Portal of Evil, poster, he's a regular poster, he finally asks, "Why? Why do you fucking furries keep doing this? They keep coming here; they never stay, they never listen, they never change. It's still the same shit. But they keep defending it. Why? Juggaloes don't do this. Emos, Star Trek slash fic writers, people who jack off to balloons. They don't care. We make fun of them; they don't care. But you feature a furry site, you gonna get a furry, bitching about us making fun of them. Why do they do that, and then never change?" And I didn't know the answer. I was young and stupid and unwise in the ways of the Internets. But now I got an answer, and I wish I could tell him, put him at ease. It's what I learned from the constant state of attack; you get better at defending yourself from those attacks. And one of the first things you learn is you can't save everything. You can't. You gotta learn what's worth defending and what must be destroyed before it destroys you.

And that's the answer to his question; furries kept defending furry sites because there is something worth fighting for at the heart of the fandom. Remember that? When we where a fandom? See, I always remember my first thought at finding furry. (I know, another boring story in a boring story. It's like a fucking flashback in a flashback. Monkey Joe says that is sloppy storytelling.) It wasn't, "Oh, here are my people." Because the truth is I never liked you people; not even at the beginning. My first thought was, "I want to do that."

The art. Just these characters. They're beautiful. And I will always defend that.

But, spoiler alert, I can't defend you. I mean you people are literally indefensible; I know. I tried. I tried so hard. I failed. I'm sorry. But at least I tried.

I can understand why you may not like me. I don't care. That's not important. I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to review fucking children's cartoons; that's what I do, and I do it damn well, thank you very much.

Goddamn, you know what the best part is; it's a fucking golden age of cartoon animals. Rango, Fantastic Mr. Fox, the Kung Fu Panda movies, even fucking Madagascar 3. A fucking Madagascar movie was fucking good! Are you fucking kidding me? My Little Pony is fucking good! My Goddamn Little Motherfucking Pony! SERIOUSLY? There is a fucking funny animal comic book that is actually fucking selling! I DREAMED A MOTHERFUCKING DREAM, AND MOTHERFUCKERS, THAT MOTHERFUCKING DREAM CAME TRUE!

But that's not the best part!

THE BEST PART IS YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!

So, uh, I'll probably submit that Newsbytes archive in about an hour or two.

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hmm I think if you feel "fursecution" in life it just means you need to get new friends.

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We said the truth, you got me there. You've admitted in the past you've never been to a convention. Have you still not been to one? Fur the More was the my first first time convention and if you recall that whole weekend there was only one negative reation. One... that was the truth.

There were no protests, no mobs, no unoriginal idiots with V for Vendetta masks.

Portal of Evil is dead, furry lives, get over it. Who was the one who should have changed?

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Oklacon, 2004.

It's been a while. Horrible experience, by the way. Boring as shit. Except for the part where I about got fucked in the ass because I was 17 year old kid who was too young to know I could just say no.

Okay.

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That's kind of a big thing I've noticed about first time cons, you really need to go with someone trustworthy, that way you'll at least have them for entertainment and as a person to watch out for trouble.

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And you don't think this is a problem?

Sonious, you write essays about why Xydexx's essays about not talking drama are wrong; but even you won't address a problem that is right in front of you. Because it hurts. That's not really a furry failing there; that's a human failing.

When I'm talking about "hatred," I'm not talking about in your face, screaming hatred, or actual physical abuse. The hatred I'm talking about; it's about respect. We don't matter. We're a cheap easy joke; the hatred doesn't come from the cruelty of the jokes. Hatred is a type of evil, and evil is banal. They hate us by ignoring us, and especially by knowing they can ignore us. You defending yourself by saying we don't matter to them is exactly what I'm talking about. We have no worth to the average person because they know in their hearts that we are worthless.

GreenReaper says the "average person is merely confused or mildly amused by furries". That's called condescension; that's a form of hatred.

Do not mistake apathy for acceptance. Their not caring about us is a sign of their not caring for us.

And, as you noted, Portal of Evil is dead, but maybe that's a bad thing. You can't be a hero if you don't have a villain. Without struggle, there is only banality.

And what is banality, again?

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Banality = this thread

God, I hope no TV crews were subjected to stuff like this. I'm gonna go watch some fursuit dance videos now, and remember why cons are awesome.

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Lack of interest shouldn't be mistaken for lack of respect. It's frankly a little arrogant to assume that Joe Average should have heard of furries and formed an opinion on them, because, well, in the grand scheme of things, we don't matter. I'm willing to bet that Joe probably hasn't formed an opinion on bronies or Trekkies or anime fans, either, and would react to them in much the same way, with confusion and/or amusement.

To someone who has no exposure to it, the thought of people running around pretending they're animals is, in fact, pretty amusing, and to take offense to that seems to me a bit silly. Calling it "a form of hatred" is tarring a lot of people with something they don't deserve.

Do you go out and educate yourself about absolutely every fringe interest group in existence, and would you think it reasonable for them to assume you hate them just because you don't have any particular interest in them?

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Lack of interest is lack of respect; is there any better way to show disrespect than to not care? At all? I will cede that perhaps hate is too strong a word; but, of course, this an Internet argument so I'm just going to throw in something else. Perhaps it would be better for them to hate us; at least that's something. I don't know why you are satisfied with being a giant question mark, or no, actually that implies curiosity. You like being an ellipsis, signifying nothing; personally, I'd rather be hated (and if this comment section doesn't prove that statement, well, shit, I'm gonna have to start calling people motherfuckers again).

But going back, Green Reaper and Sonious's argument is that I never talk to furries at conventions; yet they also mention that their entire base for their opinion is based on conventions and talking with furries. See, I was going to say furries live in a self-made bubble, but that kinda disrespects the sheer amount of effort furries have put into walling themselves off from opinions they don't like. Furries are only talking to furries; we're not so much in a bubble, which could one day burst and in bring us all too daylight. No, we've built an impenetrable fortress and hunkered down for a siege, except the metaphor falls apart here because we're not at war and nobody actually wants to conquer our territory, so hunkering down for a siege is kind of a bad idea.

We need a little fresh air, thankfully we've got all those teenagers you guys like to bring up, children are our future, after all, except, whoops, no, you guys are banning them from furry conventions now, too much hassle. Oh well, keeps'em away from the sexual predators preying on lonely teenagers (on a personal note, I like how Sonious spent yesterday arguing that shy bladder is a problem for society to solve, the individual has no control here, but today when I bring up sexual predators preying on teenager, well, that's on the kid's lookout).

And furry conventions are also a bad place to ask non-furries about furries. Yeah, you ask a dude if he likes you while you're surrounded by five hundred other people just like you, he's probably going to answer neutral at worst. Someone he doesn't know is a furry in a different social setting that doesn't involve tens if not hundreds of sweaty dudes in animal costumes asks the same question, the response will be different.

Once again, I may not go to the furry conventions, but I am talking to real people in real contexts about furry, and the first response is often one of distinct and utter ... well, uncomfortableness. Their is often revulsion and even fear. I did stand up comedy, so I'm totally down with your "pretty amusing" note; furry jokes kill (if told well, I suppose), even to a crowd of people who have only vague ideas of the concept, because most people's first encounters with furries are invariably negative. It's a big laugh, but it's a big nervous laugh.

And Green Reaper mentions trolls telling him they're just being mean for the fun of it; I've talked with people I thought were trolling furries for that reason only to find out, no, they have genuine concerns about zoophilia or pedophilia in the fandom, and they just aren't very good at communicating seriousness. So it's a two way street; just because some trolls are totally trolls doesn't mean there aren't also trolls who have genuine concerns (while it's also true just because some trolls have genuine concerns doesn't mean some aren't just assholes with too much time, an Internet connection and a refractory period between visits to RedTube).

However, even the mean for the sake of mean trolls illustrate my point about lack of respect; if they were really picking groups arbitrarily, because they are different, why are furries singled out? Because they can; no one will defend furries besides other furries. There are no consequences to harassing furries; harassing anime fans or Trekkies or even fucking bronies has consequences because someone will defend them eventually. Furries are kind of like emos or hipsters; we're the cheap lay of hate jokes. You don't have to worry about racial/gender/sexuality issues, and nobody gets offended. You tell a joke about anime fans, somebody will get offended. You tell a joke about Trekkies, somebody will get offended. You tell a joke about fucking bronies, somebody will get offended. You tell a joke about furries, no one is offended except furries, and that doesn't matter, because fuck furries. It's a respect thing again.

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My point was more that you aren't talking to non-furries at conventions. I find them at virtually every event I attend, and unless they are lying through their teeth, you are giving them less credit than they deserve. Just last weekend, I overheard one regular hotel guest say something along the lines of "it's just dressing up, they seem harmless enough" to their group. Does that count as respect? Maybe not, but I don't expect that to come with brief exposure, any more than I would expect it to result from an episode of a reality show.

I can't claim your experiences are any less valid, but perhaps it's different when you're talking to them in terms of an abstract concept, rather than a group of people who are clearly having a lot of fun. As we know all too well, it's easy for people's imaginations to run away with themselves, especially when everything they're thinking of is probably true somewhere.

At the end of the day, if you're looking for people in general to accept and value us, you're probably not going to get what you want. What you can hope for, and what I expect to happen someday, is that furries will eventually become sufficiently widespread to be worth real money to market to as a group. Nothing says respect like TV shows and movies tailored to appeal to fans - which is where you come in, I guess.

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Well, I kind of answered the first question in the comment, but I will add something I've said before, but "They look like they're probably not all serial killers." is not a compliment. It's kind of like the gag in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books that Earth's entire entry consists of "Mostly harmless." The implication is not that the publishers of the Guide respect Earth.

And as I already stated, this guy is already prone to say something nice; after all, if you found yourself suddenly surrounded by a group of people and then asked, "What do you think of us?" you'd probably say something nice if it was the fucking Third Reich.

Oh! Godwin's law, finally broke it!

Jeez, and I also kinda answered the third paragraph; I don't see that happening as you yourself point out that nobody knows who we are. You know what, I was right that you were going to say nobody hates us, but on further thought, I didn't predict you'd reply with the one scenario that is possibly worse. At least hatred can cause morbid curiosity; that's something. Don't knock morbid curiosity; I just bought tickets to My Little Pony: Equestria Girls this afternoon. Seriously, morbid curiosity got me to watch The Devil's Rejects ... Creepshow ... way more of my favorite movies of all time than I should probably admit to.

But you're saying we don't have morbid curiosity; we have "... um, well, uh, mostly harmless."

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You're upset that people are only accepting us because they are afraid of us, yet upset because people don't have a respect for us based upon fear? (Which is what "mostly harmless" means, outside the atmosphere bubble the humans have no control, so they're mostly harmless)

Man how much is MTV paying you to act a fool?

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I don't imagine it'll surprise you too much to hear that I still disagree with most of what you've said here (except the part about furries walling themselves off, which is true enough), but I don't think anything I can say is going to convince you so I'll leave it at that.

I do envy you your limitless time and attention, though, since you must have the ability to be interested in absolutely everything if you're going to tell people who aren't that they're being fundamentally disrespectful to people who are interested in those things.

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Oh, yes, I'm superior because I can stop arguing on the Internet.

LIKE I'VE NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE!

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"But going back, Green Reaper and Sonious's argument is that I never talk to furries at conventions; yet they also mention that their entire base for their opinion is based on conventions and talking with furries. See, I was going to say furries live in a self-made bubble, but that kinda disrespects the sheer amount of effort furries have put into walling themselves off from opinions they don't like. Furries are only talking to furries; we're not so much in a bubble, which could one day burst and in bring us all too daylight."

Dude? You even reading my articles bro? There's a WHOLE SECTION in my Fur'the More review that talks about the non-furries I interacted with. If you say ignorance is a lack of respect and a lack of respect is hatred then by your own principal what are you showing me right now?

Speaking of Fur'the More there were like at least 4 people who would be classified as minors with their parents there, what is this nonsense about teens being banned from conventions?

I am willing to put money on the fact that you're seeing people in 'non con' settings acting in a more negative way because you feel that being a furry is something negative and it's projected in your mannerisms when speaking, even if unintended. Dogs aren't the only creature that smell fear. Humans can detect shame in inflection. If you can't overcome the thought that being a furry is bad, how can you expect anyone else to?

I know tons of furries who laugh at jokes at the expense of furries. It's just typically the best ones are the ones that are done without ignorance. As George Carlin said, and is often misquoted:

"I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." is the misquote, the important part is what is the next part. "and bringing your audience across that line with you."

I can't find the exact inteview where he said this, but once I heard the quote in it's entirety it made much more sense then when shock jocks who are terribly unfunny and think they are Carlin's used the common quote. They don't care about the audience, they just want to be edgy. So they don't craft their jokes in a way that they shock but also so that the audience understands something about themselves.

If people aren't laughing at your jokes, it may be that rambling like everyone has to take you seriously is unfunny. In fact, it's why a lot of people dislike politics and religion.

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No, no, no, let's not do that.

I said furries and furry conventions, not furries and only furries at furry conventions; I admitted you talked to non-furries, but I do still want to point out you may not being getting a completely honest answer at a furry convention. Meanwhile, your point is I may not be getting a well-informed answer by talking to non-furries outside of a furry convention. (Also that I have shame issues. A little personal, but not completely undeserved.)

*shrug* That one's kind of an impasse. Probably the best case scenario is to get opinions from both, and I will admit you're probably in a better position to do both, and of the two of us, more likely to have done both (you didn't really say yay or nay either way on that one).

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That lady from New Zealand that I talked to? I failed to mention that at that bar to my left was someone who had just moved to Baltimore because their employer moved their workforce our of Wisconsin. You may be painting it that we were surrounding the non-furs and intimidating them into being nice and civil. I was the one that was surrounded. The nearest fur from me was 10 feet away.

Being at the convention helped start the conversation, but as I had also shown in that article it certainly didn't stop people who disapproved from disapproving and causing a fuss, not necessarily to the furs but to the bartender.

As far as talking with people about it outside the convention, heck I hardly talk with people about the weather. Probably about 90% of conversations I have are via text, sad but, it's getting better, and furry is helping with that for sure.

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Question: Do you think that furry being a relatively unimportant thing in the grand scheme of things is a bad thing? Because, to me, all of your comments are coming off as someone who has a problem with furry not being important enough.

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If mere ignorance is hatred then all humans, furry or not, are writhing with it. Because as Albert Einstein once said: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Can ignorance LEAD to hate? Sure I study politics and religion and let me tell you if those topics aren't hated. There are furry clubs which ban such talk, even if its cordial because it just causes the worst in people at times (not only furries of course I've seen similar bans in non-furry venues). Do I call them haters? That they hate me because they don't want to talk about all of my interests? No, I respect them and their rules as silly as I see them to be.

People like BuckHopper have it even worse. A lot of people who are nerdy "hate" sports and we are a nerd fandom. So what does he do? He teaches furs about it. He doesn't go "Oh you don't know what a seed is? Stop wasting my time hater." That'd be arrogance, and trust me when I say this: Ignorance is impossible to destroy, no man has known everything. Arrogance is the thing that builds walls. The "everyone must like what I like or our friendship is in question".

Just do what you like doing, and know that not everyone in the world is going to care about it, or for it.

In brony speak: Dear Princess Celestia of Episode 14, Season 1

TL;DR - There are always going to be struggles, and dealing with the real ones are hard enough. Let us not make giants out of windmills.

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"If mere ignorance is hatred then all humans, furry or not, are writhing with it."

Yes.

"Arrogance is the thing that builds walls. The "everyone must like what I like or our friendship is in question"."

You realize this is what I'm accusing you of. You walled yourself away from people; like MTV. Those are just people, trying to do a job. Trying to reach out to you. Yet you close yourself off from them. Because they're MTV. They're not your people.

Like Portal of Evil. You have to listen to your enemies; try to understand them. Yes. You will be changed. Don't be afraid. Life is change; he who is too afraid of losing his "real, true self" already has.

See, I can do pseudo-philosophical B.S. pretty good too.

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My distrust of MTV comes from my history and perception of MTV not just in the context of furry but as a human being.

As I have said, I do hope they prove those perceptions wrong, but that's up to them. Just as it's up to furs to be prove others wrong about their perceptions, even if those perceptions were created by outsiders.

It's really a viral symbiosis, and it'll take both sides to stop it, and quite frankly I hope it does. My hopes is that yours and others trust in MTV is not misplaced. To others it seems you trust MTV more then furrys, and that's a bit weird.

Furries have worked for years to change a false perception that others, including in a large part MTV had put on us, but we did it despite it. We didn't quit. It's only fair to ask the same of them what they have done with us. They'll be stronger for it, as we are stronger from what they did.

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Sure you were right about it. I could've predicted someone would say that because it's true. The average person doesn't hate furries. The average person doesn't give a good goddamn about furries one way or the other, and to think otherwise is just unwarranted self-importance. Most people have real things to worry about and don't spend a lot of time forming unshakeable opinions about geek fandoms, and most people either a) have never heard of furries or b) heard about furries in passing, went, 'huh, weird', and got on with their lives.

I think the places you chose to hang out have given you a pretty unrealistic sample.

And, as you say, of course people troll furries, because they know that we as a fandom are sensitive and will get upset about it rather than just writing what they say off as the opinions of random wankers on the internet.

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I don't know why you're here, then.

And, further, I don't know why you're not banned. That was an insulting , horrible attack, completely at odds with the stated purpose of this site. Consider this a formal complaint, GreenReaper.

Do something about this or don't. I'm not really interested in a site that promotes this kind of douchebaggery towards its readers.

GraemeLion.

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If you don't like a particular post or comment, the voting stars are right there. The power is yours!

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Just sayin'... This thread has had my moderator-sense on alert for a while now. Probably the only reason I haven't stepped in is because you've been participating in the discussion

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I told you why I'm here; I review children's cartoons.

What do you do here?

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He's a furry fan, that's why he's here. That's not to be confused with being a fan of the furry fandom. I know it's extremely uncommon, but the hard book definition of a furry fan is one that is a fan of anthropomorphic media. It's not a fan of the people who like anthropomorphic media.

That said, I hope he continues to review the content for its content and leaves his feelings for its consumers at the door.

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Well, this is a good comment. And kind of what I am saying. If I'm harder on you (and a few other people) it's because you're better than some others. You're closer (I believe this constitutes my "We're not so different, you and I" speech).

Any vitriol will be aimed squarely at content (barring occasional swipes at furries who voted for Avatar in my column, of course); this has been part of my personal mission statement since the beginning. There was one lapse (one Pull List's intro was a bit snippy, and I regret that), but even when I was reviewing another furry's swipes at furry, content was king. I don't plan on changing that.

Comments, I make no promises whatsoever, because, seriously, half the time I don't know what I'm going to do until I do it.

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If she wants a furry that's getting married? Good luck. In most states that would require a female...

If Alex can get us gay marriage in all 50, I think that should be the cost of us going on the air.

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What we have here is a failure to communicate. I think we can agree on one thing we agree to disagree.

Now before you think I some young fur, where you in 1980, in your mothers womb or some nursery? I was 20 year old working then joined the US Navy in 1980. I been sympathetic to conservative, pro-life and religious conservative cases and involved as a volunteer campaigning with George Bush Victory campaign in 2004. It safe to say from 1992 onward, I know the news media. From my life experiences I look at the Furlandia / MTV controversy though the lens of the news media not as entrainment.

I guess we are not going to see this eye to eye but be clear about each other position, I do not se this and a entertainment but a news media and political issue. The media company had come with the story already written, all they want is the warm body that fit the story, to give the media the sound bite or drama they want; Saphy and Nuka comments gives first hand witness to the media intention. I not going to accommodate them unless they know something about the Journalistic Who, What Where and Why. Now we can debate the problem of blurring the lines between entrainment and news media, Flayrah is not the place.
I would say this disingenuous because the producer says they are here to tell our story, it is a line I seen too many times in the fandom and in politics and its not the case. As such, I agree with GreemReaper I do not see this as profitable for the fandom because it will not be our story.

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Politics have nothing to do with this site (who cares), but it got brought up, so now we can mention that knowing the media doesn't go together with watching fox news. Bad spelling does, i guess. Just kidding grandpa, it's really interesting to hear about woodrow wilson's campaign against the hun menace, can you please pass the peas?

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As I mentioned to Triss on Twitter, I'm a little bit skeptical about the $6 total for attendee donations given my partner and I put in at least $10 between us. I also feel like chiding the people whose support your convention depends on for supposedly not being generous enough probably isn't the way you want to go with that.

That said, as far as I know the usual way to raise money for con charities is via a charity auction, so hopefully there'll be one of those next year.

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Ah, but were they Canadian dollars? ;-)

[This would have been a better joke a decade ago . . .]

You're right that a lack of charity events is not conducive to a healthy total. FC's have lagged in recent years due to this.

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No, it was definitely American. Heck, since all American money looks the same that $5 I thought I threw in could well have been $100.

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Hmm... yeah, I didn't even find a number for fan donations: Greenreaper put that in based on the number in the article written by the volunteer coordinator (I somehow missed that figure in my read through). He really does a lot of work on these things.

It's possible they didn't tally it up right, or this was another example of communication lapse. It's kind of a strange enigma. When they gave their final attendee count on the twitter feed there seemed to be a skeptical reply followed by a "the numbers don't lie".

I agree on the auction thing, Fur The More made far more than 10% of the donations via their action (a certainty), I'd dare even speculate it was more then a third.

Thanks for donating and I hope you had a good time there.

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Yeah, I skimmed the linked article too - my skepticism was directed at the con's numbers, not at GreenReaper.

Triss also said to me that the reported total might not be correct.

I enjoyed the con (and Portland, as always) and intend to be there again next year, so hopefully the issues will be ironed out. They already have a much larger planning window to work with than they did this year.

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Indeed, and now that we have the information that the production team for the media that showed up pulled the plug they probably aren't going to return next year (something I couldn't predict prior). It seems as if it were on the table being debated within the con staff for 2 out of the 3 months they had to get ready. Without that, there's a good weight lifted off they can use hammering out the things that'll make the convention better I feel.

Hopefully it isn't too late.

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I was there and yes there was a few glitches. I disagree with $6 dollar figure I also put in $5.00 on Saturday. I did have a lot of problem with programing, I did not get my schedule for may panel until I got my con book. Sibe was some concern, as much I did not want Furlandia to become another Foxma, but he seem to have very little effect on the convention was a non issue.

Now as for MTV or should I say viacommix, I like other did not know until opening ceremony; there were sections for those who did and did not want to be video for the project. We who were videoed had singed releases and Saph had provided an email address of anybody had second thoughts.

Sadly I had pull out not as much as MTV but I serous spooked by the potential furry drama storm being afraid I would be drag down with every body else. I wonder my note was received knowing there would had me and my giant Hello Kitty and I would had to contact and advise Sanrio Inc. USA on the shoot. I am sad the viacommix is out of $1000 dollars.

But there one thing I agreed and disagree with Aloha Wolf, comment at closing ceremony. I agree we need to get the message of the fandom out to the public but disagrees as pro life, former Christian Fundamentalist, former cultural conservative and republican volunteer I seen how the main stream media, first hand, how they can twist the most positive spin into a big negative. WE need to take a tactic like conserve media and create our own channels to inform the pubic not relying on mainstream media.
My con report can be found here
http://www.furry.asinglelion.com/?p=893

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Don't be sad Viacom is out 1K Acton, that be like being sad you are out a penny in relative terms. They sell their cable channels in a pack to cable companies at the tune of a billion dollars a year (for each cable company). http://www.deadline.com/2012/07/no-deal-directv-to-lose-viacoms-channels-at-midn...

I'm more saddened by the fact that these furries really put themselves on the line for having them there in the first place and the crews decided that after all that effort and mess was made to do absolutely nothing with what they got. It really made this drama literally over nothing.

What I said about MTV subsidiaries not getting invited to conventions if they made us look bad? Well, if the convention knows they are going to waste their time; I don't think that's all that much better.

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After the above comment by Alex Shaw, an executive in the production company, I think they may have a hard time finding anyone wanting to risk themselves within the fandom to be on their show. The 3 person camera crew got nothing at the convention but positive footage. Conversations about how things were going, despite issues that arose, and interactions between people involved heavily within the fandom that are no different than John and Jane Doe. Whether they just didn't get the hook they wanted, or are upset at limitations that was placed on their location filming, or lack of establishing footage, or rushed scenes that didn't have a lot of sincerity placed in them, I cant be sure, but something tells me that I should have listened to a key piece of advice: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

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I feel compelled to chime in here with my two cents!

We should take pause at the combination of two facts that seem to be emerging:

a) It seems that the production company pulled the plug on the show.

b) From what Saph has said above, it seems like, all things considered, filming was going WELL (positive footage, nothing scandalous and negative).

This should be WILDLY informative about what the show's intentions were.

I know this, because I've seen it first-hand, when I was being filmed for Taboo.

For those who have seen the Taboo furry episode, you'll notice something: it's short. Criminally short. Compared to the other segments in the show, it's only about half the length, and plunked down at the very END of the episode.

This is in spite of, all combined, nearly 4 days of non-stop filming.

Why?

We were boring.

Yup.

They had an idea, coming in, what furries would be, and that idea sounded EXCITING. You could see what these preconceptions were through the questions we were asked by the producer/crew:

"So, you're having a furry get-together today... do you all run around in costumes, meowing and growling, and acting like total animals?"

"When does all the EXCITING stuff happen?"

"You all look too... normal, just sitting around, hanging out, like that."

In the end, the only things that really made it into the episode were heavily scripted bits that were set up by the producer to get something exciting to happen: take a bunch of fursuiters into downtown Kitchener-Waterloo, take some fursuiters to a bowling alley to get a reaction, put a bunch of fursuiters into a car.

In the end, we were only really exciting enough to warrant a few minutes at the end of the episode.

And I think THAT may just summarize the experience of the film crew. Going into a furry convention with a bunch of preconceptions about what they'll find. And what do they find: a bunch've folks playing games, making/sharing art, some wearing cute-looking fuzzy suits...

Where's the debauchery? Where's the stuff people EXPECT to see? People acting like animals, saying crazy, delusional things? Getting into all kinds of trouble with the hotel staff and destroying the place like... well, like a bunch of animals?

It didn't happen. Because it never happens that way.

I'm betting the crew pulled the plug because the footage they got was far too boring to make anything out of. Because, when you get right down to it, past all the crazy portrayals of furries on t.v. and the label we like to apply to ourselves that we're completely "out there", the truth is this:

We're really not as wild, crazy, and dysfunctional as people expect us to be.

My guess is the film crew went in expecting to get some exciting footage of what happens when you put 300 furries together in one place, and what they found was pretty vanilla.

I don't mean to say that they had malicious intentions. There's a HUGE difference between CSI-style misinformation about the fandom (e.g. "it's a fetish for people who like to have sex in fursuits") and simply wanting to create exciting television. Let's face it: on paper, it sounds like it'd be PERFECT for MTV: colorful fuzzy suits, wacky antics, unbridled energy and creativity, a young and jubilant crowd.

And yet, plug pulled.

In the end, I don't think we're going to find the "good press" we're hoping for, because the reality of furries is almost "too boring to be true"! The media went the sensationalist route, and got their kicks from doing that. Now we're seeing a resurgence in interest from media outlets wanting to get the "real story" of furries. And, consistently, they seem to be finding the same thing: the reality is far less interesting and television-worthy than the fiction was.

So, long story short: I'll be generous and assume that MTV just wanted to do what MTV does best: show exciting, interesting stuff. No bad intentions, no intentions of making furries look bad or catching them with their pants down. But if their experience was anything like the experience of NatGeo's Taboo with our local furry group, I'm guessing furries didn't live up to the hype created by CSI, Vanity Fair, 1000 Ways to Die, etc...

And you know what? I'm okay with that... =)

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As an addendum, to perhaps reply more directly to what Saphy said:

From a television producer's point of view, furries really are a nightmare scenario:

a) There's HIGH expectations from higher-ups that you will get GOLD footage: crazy antics, zany happenings, crazy people and lots of colorful, fuzzy images of people doing goofy things to keep the audience's attention (and to stop them if they're channel surfing).

b) Furries are reluctant as HELL to appear on-camera. Tell 100 furries that you're wanting to film them for national television, and 50% of them will walk away, 45% of them will be quite vocal in telling you to go to hell, and the last 5% might consent IF you agree to a bunch of conditions beforehand.

c) Furries are hard to find. It may not seem like it to us, because we all know where to look: we know what the biggest conventions are, who the big names in the fandom are, and what the big furry social sites are. But think of how oblivious most people are to what a furry even is. How does a non-furry looking to find contacts in the furry fandom know where to begin?

d) Where do you film? Filming options are limited to one of two places - a local fan group (which may be quite small and scattered, almost guaranteeing no interesting footage), or a furry convention (good luck finding a convention that'll let you film there).

e) Furries are actually quite boring, when you get down to it. Furries are often camera-shy, but even if you do get some energetic fursuiters, what can you ACTUALLY do with them, when you get down to it? Get some surprised reaction shots from people who don't know what they're looking at... maybe a few cute little tricks showing off what a person can do in a fursuit (breakdancing, acrobatics), a few little cutsie shots (fursuiters hugging, playing with kids)... how long of a segment can you REALLY make of this?

f) How do you get any substance out of the piece? You can't really interview a fursuiter (try miking up a fursuit head!) If you interview furries outside the suits, they're suddenly quite plain-looking.

So, you have a producer who's expected to get exciting footage trying to get said exciting footage from a group of hard-to-find, reluctant, camera-shy people who may only agree under very specific and limiting conditions (which almost ensure that nothing crazy will happen), all the while letting you know that they will be scrutinizing your every movement and most likely hate anything you say about them.

... if a good documentary about furries is going to come from somewhere, it's going to come from within the fandom, and it's probably going to be targeted toward furries (it just won't have the appeal or the resources to make it to the mass public).

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I'd be okay with a documentary made by someone in the furry fandom as long as it doesn't end up like the brony documentary, where the main purpose seemed to be to tell fellow bronies how awesome they are.

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That was a great comment :) i totally agree with your opinions.

Honestly, the responses towards tv and media by furry fans is disappointing. Are furry fans not interested in showbiz, storytelling, and performing?

I would not lump every fan together, but for the ones with aspirations to interact with audience: do you not understand that showbiz comes with a specific set of conventions when the spotlight is on? No, you dont have to step in it, but it's there... Being boring around it just makes furries look amateur. Not that fan culture has to be more. But if furries proudly claim creativity as one of it's assets, i'd hope for more! Boringness belies that claim.

I've never taken a class or have any sort of formal credit with performance. But you can search back thru my mixed content (good and bad) posted here and find a youtube fursuit interview that a random blogger did with me while trying to find out what furries are. I was drunk and silly but i sure had fun acting like it. I basically started barfing answers to see if something could click, instead of sitting there. Never just sit there! judging from many nice responses i heard, it worked. No talent here, but i tried to give it guts and enthusiasm. Thats all it takes! And it's fun. I want to see more of that! What is the best furries can give? I see a lot of the best when i look at furry dance vids.

I've worked on MTV shows as an animator. (These days, my best and most enjoyable role is advising animation mfa students on how to do film making to earn their degree.)

Reading complaints about them makes me sympathize with them. Guys, it's showbiz... can we get a little more appreciation for how showbiz works?

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In the case that's being discussed specifically here, I feel your comments or anecdotes aren't applicable to this context.

The filming that was being done was for the True Life reality show/documentary. When we say "boring" we don't mean it in the context you do. They were following two specific individuals who happened to be running a furry convention, myself and primarily Saphy who has also posted. We are not performers, artists, or fursuiters. We are event/convention/meet/nonprofit-fundraising organizers and a couple of the handful of key members of our local fur community. We are community leaders and business people.

When the word boring is used in the majority of this, aside from the example of why furries might be boring in the post you are responding to primarily, it is in the context of not providing drama. They got fursuiters, and parts of the Saturday dance. They were interested in behind the scenes logistics, setup, staff interaction, and mine/his interaction with attendees. So yes, in the context of drama, we were boring, though not on purpose. We were running a convention, and they knew this, unfortunately they had no sympathy or understanding towards our responsibilities to that when working with us and wanted us to do more than we could.

To be fair they had been filming Saph since Tuesday or Wednesday before the con, with hardly any notice, while he and I both work and/or go to school. So they didn't get anything good the entire time because of no preparation. They were also supposed to come back once or twice more in the future to follow our other activities, with better notice to us, to fill the rest of the episode.

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Oh, reality shows. I don't have much good to say about that. I've never spent much time with them, but most of them seem like filler to me. :P

There's always exceptions. I've seen some good ones about cooking and survival. They seem more practical and hands-on and less focused on contrived personal drama.

There is plenty of meat in the subject of furries to make good stories about them. Any active subculture has that. I'm looking forward see it some day.

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I been involve with conservative causes well before I became a furry / In fact it was the press misreporting a -la CSI that brought the fandom to my attention and eventually to be part of it.

This has nothing to do with show business we are not performers or there to put on a show; we are fans plan and simple. This is pure about press bias, we did not fit the wild and debaucherous preconceptions about the fandom.

This sounds similar to and incident I heard about a Tea Part rally. The media went out to find the angry While male Tea Part Protest and could not find one.

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"Honestly, the responses towards tv and media by furry fans is disappointing. Are furry fans not interested in showbiz, storytelling, and performing?"

I think your out of your league taking showbiz when the issue is news media. You are comparing apples and oranges; in the case the entertainment media via the news media (including documentaries). First of all we are not attend a con to perform but attend to a fur con to have fun and socialize with other furs; we are not actors in a play.
Second for furs, it not how we are to perform for the entertainment production but how we act in front of the news media. In this case wile deficient in some areas Uncle Kage is more relevant; how do we act when a reporter stick a microphone in out face I see the issue is more about politics that showbiz. All things point to MTV pull the plug because we would not give them what they wanted to fit the story instead of reporting the story.

Perhaps look at MTV had no business being at a fur con. If the want entertainment then build a sound stage.

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Perhaps they feel "Furry Fan" was as misleading a title to us as "Music Television" is to the content on that particular channel?

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Actually, there IS a documentary being made right now, from within the furry fandom, that will appeal to a wide audience, not just furries. It is called "Anthro: Animating the Soul", and is about anthropomorphic characters of all types, including all non-human anthros, even the Pixar lamp. Sadly, I can't describe it as well as the film-maker can, but I know that I want to see it when it is done. You can find the description and the funding goals on the Indigogo site. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/anthro-animating-the-soul?browse_v=new Being a broad film about anthropomorphism that happens to have furries in it makes it a lot more reasonable to the general public and the mass media, and will likely get it seen by a whole lot more than simply the furry fandom.

The owner of FluffyJackal Studios is the fur who is making the film, and I have known him since I joined the fandom. He's been a furry for over three times as long as I have. He is a very polite, intelligent, and well-spoken person. He has been doing interviews for over half a year already, and very soon, will be going to Florida to interview puppeteers, fursuiters, cartoonists, and imagineers. He was hoping to go to Anthrocon and interview Uncle Kage and more (It was already approved), but his campaign didn't raise enough money for him to travel there. Regardless of the amount he raised, he has promised to still make the movie, because it is a dream of his to create it. Though without more funds, it sadly won't be able to be of the high quality and broad view he was hoping for.

Of course, we all probably know why furs didn't donate to this Indigogo campaign. It is because they were afraid. They didn't know this guy, so they didn't trust him. Understandable considering the most famous bits we have seen in the media, but when work is being done from within, a little bit of trust could be a really amazing thing and do wonders for the fandom. He is still raising funds even though the Indigogo is over, and every bit helps him make a better end product.

As far as a film crew being at a convention being a problem it really is all in how it is handled, and how open with the information the convention staff are. F3 Convention in Missouri, who had their first year last December, let FluffyJackal Studios come in and film in one of the panel rooms. He ran a panel and an interview session for the movie, plus a couple of furry-themed RPGs that had nothing to do with his film at other times during the con. A good time was had by all, and nobody threw a stink about there being part of a movie crew at F3, because not only was it advertised on the website, with links and all data clearly visible, but the filming all happened in a panel room instead of on the main floor of the convention. To be on camera, you had to really want to be on camera, and be at the panel on time, among other things.

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I think you got it backwards; broadening the view to include a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with furry on the grounds that it's "anthropomorphic" doesn't clarify anything. It only confuses people more; if you're trying to explain what furries do, you may want to avoid bringing up things furries don't.

Seriously, we just need to get rid of that word, "anthropomorphic." We use it because it sounds smarter than "cartoon" or "funny" or even something as simple yet workable as "talking," plus it admittedly has that nice assonance with "animal," which is really the important part of the definition. We're all being pretentious using it; we've even fooled ourselves into believing it's the end-all, be-all of furry, when there is another word just as important in the definition "fan of anthropomorphic animals." We're not fans of just any old "anthropomorphism." We're fans of a specific type.

If you allow the love of being able to say a fancy $20 dollar word to rule the definition, what you end up with is a documentary that doesn't explain furry, it just makes the non-furries in the audience go, "I'm so confused; why is the Pixar lamp here? I thought we were talking about animals."

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Lord forbid we try to make people more intelligent by using words with more then two syllables in it. I mean all for dumbing down stuff and all but it seems we should have to do that less in a world where you can have your smart phones do your thinking for you and can look up that fancy word.

I mean if we're dumbing it down, why not go all the way and translate it to caveman? Hell even ancient civilizations didn't need such a simple concept to be explained... they were actually quite enamored by the subject. Kind of hilariously sad when you think about it.

However, what I think MOST people are confused about when they ask "What is Furry?" is the question itself is ambiguous as hell: "What is Star Trek?" and "What is a Trekkie?" vs "What is furry?" and "What is Furry?".

They probably already know what animal with human cognition and skills are (as I said that's been around since ancient cultures), what they are probably more curious about is to know about fandom or culture of people who celebrate such (which I think would be a focus of a documentary on said group).

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Your last paragraph is my point; if people already know what something is, why give it a name that confuses them? Would you offer someone a Malus domestica? Saying big words around dumb ninnies doesn't make them not dumb ninnies; it just makes them dumb ninnies who don't understand what you're saying.

Besides, it's not just confusing non-furries; it's confusing furries. People are so caught up in the debate about whether or not Avatar contains anthropomorphism (sure it does; those aliens are awful human) that they forget to ask whether or not it's furry (there isn't a single anthropomorphic animal, however).

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I think the cause over the Avatar thing was many individuals referred to them as "Blue cat people", in fact, Google that phrase and see what you get... so people would actually debate you on the whole "no animals" thing.

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Yes, the "squint at it and it looks like a cat" argument; I would be more open to that argument if there weren't other movies that year you didn't have to squint at to see the animals that also didn't suck rancid donkey balls as a movie.

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Crossaffliction is correct, "Anthro: Animating the Soul" is not a furry-only film. The documentary is about anthropormorphism and anthro characters of all types. while that topic includes furries, and would likely make positive strides in changing the opinion about furries of many viewers, that is not it's primary goal. The film is being made by a furry who is also a cartoonist and a puppeteer.

I personally think that the broad nature of the film will cause more people to watch it. If a variety of individuals (not just furs), watch the film, and the furry fandom is covered in it, then those with no interest in furries or our subculture will accidentally learn the truth of the fandom, while still enjoying the film about anthro characters as a whole. I don't know if that was the creator's main goal, but it's still a genius marketing technique to reach the masses with, even if unintentional.

Anyone who thinks that a movie only about furries and the furry fandom only is going to be watched by anyone who is not already either a part of, or friends/family with someone who is part of the fandom, is about as silly as bronies who thought that the brony movie was going to be anything but brony-subculture ego-stroking. Most non-bronies didn't watch the brony movie, and non-furries likely wouldn't watch a furry documentary if it were made either.

But a movie about anthropomorphic characters in modern media, it's history, and what makes anthropomorphism such an integral and historical part of our world's culture... That has something interesting that not only furries, bronies, cartoonists, and so forth would watch, but also history buffs, and pop culture fans. That's why I'm excited to see this film made. Because more people would watch it, and thus, the word would get out. When dealing with today's mass media audience, you have to make something entertaining and informative for a broad audience in order to get a small message out about a particular niche subject. Anyone who thinks it works differently likely hasn't studied mass communication in a while, and is a touch confused. That's just the way the world works these days, send out the information, hidden in plain sight in the media that people want to watch, until the message sinks in and takes hold.

All that said, let me please reiterate that I am in no way involved in the movie project myself. The opinions that I have posted here are mine alone, and in no way reflect those of the film-maker or his studio. I just support it and hope to see "Anthro: Animating the Soul" be the best that FluffyJackal Studios can possibly create. If my talking about it here as a response to someone mentioning how a movie with furry info made by a furry would be far preferable than some massive media company, can help him raise funds to get more (and better quality) footage of a wider range of people and possibly Uncle Kage too, then I will post my little heart out to help him meet those goals.

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No, crossaflictionis not correct if crossaffliction thinks this anything but a furry documentary; you're "let's hide in a broad message like the Trojan hors" may or may not have merit, but you're crazy if you really think anyone but furries are interested in the concept of "anthropomorphism."

Furries just like the word themselve; as I already said, it's a big word that makes people sound smart; whether or not furries actually understand the concept behind the word is debateable, because if they actually understood it they would realize that anthropomorphisizing an animal or anything else is humanity's default setting. We do it automatically; it is harder for us to not assign human traits to things than it is to assign them.

Anthropomorphiism is not the appeal of furry characters. It is in fact the single most boring thing about them. .

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Indeed, text book definitions are boring however are necessary.

What's an American?

Sure you'll get this that range from "Someone who stands for freedom" to "An asshole who pushes their system on others"

The text book definition is "Someone who's a denizen of America"

Boring ain't it?

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"anthropomorphisizing an animal or anything else is humanity's default setting. We do it automatically; it is harder for us to not assign human traits to things than it is to assign them."

You are, of course, correct in this. It is humanity's favorite thing to do. We name our cars and attribute personalities to them, we say our pets are talking to us, we even talk about how the trees on the street must feel. Anthropomorphizing things and animals is what humans do. We do it constantly. But if you think that only furries are interested in what we humans do, how we apply human-like characteristics to everything in our world, you are also confused.

Yes, a lot of furries like the big word, and maybe I am being a bit naive when I say this, but I think a lot of folks are like me. I simply prefer to use one word that means what I am trying to say, instead of running off a full sentence and wasting time speaking or typing the definition out every time I communicate. I'll define a word if someone asks me to, but it is not in my nature to assume that everyone I speak to needs to have me use small words or cater to the lowest common denominator.

As far as the movie, and what it is, As my grandfather used to say "I'm not going to confuse you with the facts, your mind's made up.". As Sonious said so eloquently; "textbook definitions are boring, however [they] are necessary." The movie talks about cars, lamps, cartoon characters that are not animals, and furries too (as a necessary part of the discussion of anthro, as to leave furs out would render the documentary incomplete). It also includes interviews of both fans and creators from the professional to the hobbyist, of many different varieties of anthro characters. Call it a furry movie if you want, but no matter what words you use to describe it, it doesn't change what it is (a rose by any other name would smell as sweet). Putting furries in a movie, doesn't make the movie only, or even predominantly, about furries, if just means that there are furries in it in addition to everything else. See how that works? Now I don't pretend to know how the end product will turn out, or if it will be closer to what I think, or what you think when it is completed. I only know that I think the project is exciting, and I look forward to seeing it when it's done.

I will quote the creator of the movie instead of using my own words. "This year, I've been shooting an inspirational feature-length documentary about the creators of anthro characters." "The film "Anthro: Animating the Soul" is an independent project to help educate the public about fandoms in general and help them understand these diverse groups of talented, creative, and caring individuals." "We are trying to build up what the exposé-media has neglected for so long."

So in closing, Nobody will really know for sure what it will be until it's done. The only thing I am sure of is that whatever bits there are about furries will be positive and distinctly lacking the crazed sensationalism that the mass media has heaped on us in the recent past. If just for that, it's worth the support of the fandom. ~^w^~

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Well, I will say this; this isn't a very furry thing to say:

"Putting furries in a movie, doesn't make the movie only, or even predominantly, about furries..."

Seeing as how I was bitching about how furries widen the definition of furry as far as possible then start screaming "IT'S FURRY SO YOU'RE FURRY FOR LIKING IT" the moment something that you can squint at and maybe see something furry in (see Avatar) that's really not very furry. So, it must be not furry.

But, here you jump right on the stereotypical furry zeitgeist:

"... will be positive and distinctly lacking the crazed sensationalism that the mass media has heaped on us in the recent past."

As a member of the mass media, I would like to remind you that a reporter's job is to be fair and unbiased; that does not mean unfair and biased for YOU. There have been multiple cases of reporters being sexually propositioned by furry interviewees; as a former working reporter, trust me when I say, that doesn't happen when you interview, say, beauty pageant entrants (much as I wish it were true) or city council members (glad this one's true) or fucking anyone except furries.

Admittedly, in the case of, say, the Vanity Fair article, the main source of information was Fox Wolfie Galen, i.e. a complete fucking nutball. Seriously, a reporter working for a magazine that manages to have a decent, classy reputation and still be available from the check out line at most small town supermarkets, and we let Fox Wolfie Galen near him, nevermind be our main representative?

I know this is going to be hard for you guys to accept, but maybe, just maybe, we dropped the ball on that one.

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There have been multiple cases of reporters being sexually propositioned by furry interviewees […]

Citation please? I'm fairly sure the Christchurch Press one was plain made up.

I think if people are trying to find the weirdest of furries, they will do so. Even excluding people from events won't stop them being found thanks to the magic of the Internet (and to make it clear, I don't advocate excluding people from events just because they have weird fetishes and like to talk about them to people who are interested). If you talk to the media at all, you must understand that some coverage will be exploitative. You can control only your own conduct, so seek out the best journalists and talk to them.

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"I would like to remind you that a reporter's job is to be fair and unbiased; that does not mean unfair and biased for YOU." You are speaking about reporters for professional and reliable news media here, I assume, which, while still not perfectly unbiased (for anyone), usually give an honest effort towards simply reporting the facts. People are somewhat biased by their very nature, so it is nearly impossible to be completely unbiased, no matter how hard we might try. When I speak of "mass media" and furries, I am referring to the entertainment media that thrives on a sensationalist story, and the crazier it can get, the better, because it gets them better ratings. Those folks also call themselves reporters and documentarians, even though they generally stay about as far from "fair, balanced, non-biased, facts" as the average Victorian settee is from the center of the Amazon jungle. For the record, until now, I had not mentioned reporters.

I have utmost respect for professional reporters who actually ARE reporters. It is a very hard and taxing career, both intellectually, physically, and emotionally. But those who lie about what they are doing in order lure innocent people into their webs so that they can then create something that does not exist, or magnify a small oddity for ratings, and ruin people's lives while slandering an entire subculture? I have no respect for those individuals. If they were honest about it, that would be different. It is the dishonest, sneaky, deceitful people in the media that I am speaking of, it is those for whom I have no respect. My apologies for not clarifying more in my original post, and thus leading you to confusion and an incorrect understanding of what I was saying. (As I mentioned earlier, I tend to speak, and assume that those I am speaking to do not need me to couch my words in a mile-long explanation)

As I have often said in other places, we, as a fandom, need to speak out about what it is we DO, as opposed to fighting against the misconceptions and speaking about what we don't do. That is really the only way to change public opinion. If we ourselves focus on the negative stereotyping, then it only acts to keep those stereotypes in the minds of those listening. If we, however, focus on all of our charity work, the massive creativity within our community, and how we act as a strong support network for people who might have otherwise fallen through the cracks inherent in "the system", then people hear about what we ARE doing, and who we really are. I can't count the number of times I have heard someone say that the close-knit and accepting family-nature of the fandom saved their lives in a very real sense. We donate tens of thousands of dollars to charity each year, and that has everything to do with what furries are as a community, and a fandom. We are creative folks who help, asking nothing in return except for the good feeling we get from lending a paw. Even if you take away the interest in anthro animals, the one thing that identifies us and brings us together as a recognizable grouping of individuals, you are still left with a vast collection of some pretty amazing people.

As far as "the crazies" going to the media, I'm going to have to say that at this point it is pretty obvious that the vast majority of furries are terrified of the media in general, no matter who it is. The only furs willing to speak to the media these days are either the naive who think they can keep from having their words twisted by professional spin doctors, those who are completely nuts and don't care what people think, or folks like Dr. Conway, who are so quick on their feet that they can artfully dodge the weird questions that are often asked, without uttering a single word that can be snipped and rearranged to make it look like he is saying something he didn't. I have seen several times, well-intentioned furs have their lives ruined, and be unceremoniously excommunicated from the fandom because they thought they could set things right with the media, who instead got edited into "being a terrible person". I very much doubt your claim of this supposed "multiple cases" of interviewee propositioning. That is quite a stretch.

With all of that said, I have seen several positive news reports about furries. But please keep in mind; these were NEWS REPORTS. By real reporters, writing about and commenting on facts. True reporters have a pretty decent record with the fandom, of showing us we really are instead of purposely searching and digging to find the weirdest possible story to sensationalize for ratings. Media in general isn't "evil", just dangerous. Dangerous, because media is a mine-field. It is a big risk to talk to someone when you don't know what their ethics are. So should the average furry keep away from the media and interviews? Probably, yes. Does furry avoidance of reliable, honest media harm the subculture? Probably also yes. But there are many different names and psychological manipulation tactics used by those who would malign us, and the ability, know-how, or time to thoroughly research someone asking for an interview is simply beyond most of the fandom. Is it safer to decline an interview if you aren't sure who is asking? Abso-freaking-lutely it is, and thankfully, most furs know it.

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The average length of my stories probably makes 97.3% of Flayrah's readers get glazed eyes.

So man, you should worry about how fast your comments make MY eyes glaze over.

If "THE MEDIAH" devoted as much time to furries, as furries devote to obsessing on their own dramatic inner torture about "THE MEDIAH"... every newspaper would have a "FURRIES" section that's twice as fat as the rest of the paper. (Remember those things made from dead trees?)

The first rule is, nobody gives a shit about tiny niche nerd hobbies. The second rule is, if your hobby is worth being taken seriously, act like it, not like a whiny diva trying to hide wrinkles and sagging flab rolls masking your supposed inner beauty. That insecurity gets really old.

Furries are talented but they aren't funded or organized to do what media does. If you act like they can't tell your story right, you're making a self fulfilling prophecy.

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I have to say this, though I am also just as guilty of overwriting the hell out of things (both in comments and stories), your article about coyotes in San Francisco featured a headline so long my eyes glazed over.

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Patch Packrat, I tried to be concise in my comments, but every time I did, I was misunderstood, and accused of saying something I didn't. Reader response has, unfortunately, forced me to carefully explain exactly what I am saying in minute detail to avoid any further misunderstanding. I suppose I could keep being quick & to the point, but then someone would get confused again, and maybe develop some butthurt over what they think they just read.

(Short version: Eyes glazed or not, you read it. So did others. Longer posts with more explanations prevent confusion among the dim and those who would purposely twist my words. Facts of life bro.)

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People not agreeing with you is not "misunderstanding".

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True, niche hobbies are pretty boring unless you are involved in them. Not very exciting to write a news piece on some weirdos who like Star Trek and comic books getting together to dress up in costumes and hang out all weekend. Wait, that sort of thing is reported all the time, and in a positive light.

I've been to my fair share of conventions of all genres (15yrs worth, multiple cons a year), and there is far more drunkenness, debauchery, groping, making out, and lewd/suggestive behavior and costumes in the public areas of a sci-fi or anime convention than I have ever seen at any fur event I've attended.

Why is it that the sex angle is reported in such a disproportionate ratio when it comes to furries? That is worth investigation, and is the big thing we as a fandom need to work on changing. It's not about hiding the truth, it's about getting the focus onto the whole story, not just the parts with shock value.

Every group, when large enough, attracts some "undesirables". Anyone who thinks otherwise is an imbecile. Saying most furries are sex-crazed lunatics who yiff in suit is like saying that most Christians are identical to Westboro Baptist.

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"Why is it that the sex angle is reported in such a disproportionate ratio when it comes to furries? That is worth investigation, and is the big thing we as a fandom need to work on changing"

-citation needed-

Why is there a flood of self created furry porn? Why is that the fault of media who have very little reason to pay any attention to a nerd hobby?

Should news only report positive stories, as i've heard clueless people suggest? Well, you couldnt call it news then.

Who gives a shit about changing trivial reporting about some activity if you dont do it? You associate with who you choose to. This is not an identity group, its a hobby.

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We donate tens of thousands of dollars to charity each year […]

Hundreds of thousands. I should get that donations/convention/attendee summary out.

I like talking to reporters. But "the media" does not just include reporters. Today I was asked to speak about the fandom on a segment of a show being produced for a major U.S. television channel. I declined because from what they say, they're looking to tell a made-up tale (despite being a show of the "true stories" variety), and they certainly don't have the time or reason to tell a comprehensive story about even a small segment of of the fandom.

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Replying to "citations needed" post here as well, but Fox Wolfie Galen propositioned Richard Gurly in the course of reporting the Vanity Fair article.

"I called a taxi and went to the bathroom. When I came back to his lair, Fox Wolfie Galen was in a full-body tiger suit. He was gesturing to a rip in the costume, between his legs."

There was also the Anna in Wonderland segment, which was just creepy.

I suppose both are debatable, and the Christchurch thing was complete baloney, but it was "inspired by [debatable] true events".

Replying to this comment, there were very good reasons to back out of that show without even asking what the made-up story was, but did you by any chance ask anyway?

But, anyway, my point is maybe Richard Gurley should have taken more time to get sources that weren't, you know, fucking creepy as hell, but maybe we should have made more of an effort to not be fucking creepy as hell to start with.

Some media lies, and I won't deny that; but some furries are terrible people who fuck dogs, support child pornography, are genuinely disgusting or even liked Avatar, and you can't deny that. Basically, the entire complaining about the media thing is extremely hypocritical; it's complaining about our group being generalized in a negative manner while generalizing a group in a negative manner.

It's also insulting to think we're not dishonest ourselves; Xydexx hasn't visited this month with his patented take on journalistic ethics, i.e. if it makes you look bad, fucking lie your ass off about it. I'm sorry, when someone says to me, "I want to get the truth out there!" and they're talking about themselves, I hear, "I want to replace negative lies with positive lies!" And you fucking know Uncle Kage has straight faced lied to reporters. He's fucking told them we don't fuck in fursuits, straight up; I can provide some links to the contrary if I have to.

Furthermore, it's not like we don't need them, because we do. Furry art, literature and general "culture" has stagnated without the mainstream; seriously, our most rewarded author has spent the last decade writing nothing but gay porn until recently, when he broke the trend by writing something as radically different as gay romance. I don't read a lot of furry literature, but I do read Fred's reviews, and I'm struck by how much of our literature is set in high school. That's most of our output; young adult fantasies mixed with hardcore pornography. Not a very flattering combination.

I pointed this out earlier, but I've stopped consuming furry material because the mainstream output of cartoon animals is much more interesting. Let me repeat that, so it sinks in; I find the homogenized, sanitized, built-to-appeal-to-everyone mainstream is using anthropomorphic animals in more clever, interesting, creative and even challenging ways than the theoretically artistically limitless subculture based around anthropomorphic animals. That's not good.

In an unrelated note, I don't know if it's a good idea to brag about charity to begin with, but it's really silly to bring it up in the comments of the story where MTV donated $1000 and furries donated $6.

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We're pretty sure now that the $6 figure was just jar donations in the last day.

The plot was an embellishment of the purportedly disgruntled cheerleader father at Furry Fiesta. The original story appeared unsubstantiated, so I was not keen to endorse a fanciful twist on it which assumed everything he said about furries and furry events was true, even if it was one which "made it better" by saying "not all furs are like that" (compare Furry Tales).

I have no problem with a comprehensive treatment which includes controversial topics, accurately reported; but this was entertainment, using furries as one five-minute example of a weird vacation.

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Joke still works, Green Reaper. Joke still works.

Yeah, that doesn't sound like it's doing anyone any favors.

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Your use of the word "We" I think is the problem...

We aren't some queens (see 'royal we'), or at least we shouldn't be. Being able to separate oneself from the group is an important and healthy behavior in which will save a lot of unnecessary headaches. For instance re-read what you said:

"And you fucking know Uncle Kage has straight faced lied to reporters. He's fucking told them we don't fuck in fursuits, straight up; I can provide some links to the contrary if I have to."

So, you're saying that you fucked in a fur suit? If the links is not you, then would that be someone else other that you, and if you are not included in that group can you use the word "we" to describe it? I believe the answer to that would be 'no'.

A lot of furry media is more likely high school drama because, lets face it... a solid majority of the fandom is barely out of that phase of their life. That's not furry's fault, that's society's fault that we raise our kids so blandly. We should put them in wars so that they may write the next War and Peace. I kid.

However, the big thing is is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't get upset when our PR is lying by trying to make the fandom a more welcoming place and trying to draw away humankind's instinctual obsession with the our most intimate of behaviors and then complain that there isn't enough items that are not sexualized within fandom generated culture. I mean you can, but you're really working against your own interests.

Would not projecting an overly sexualized image to the media cause the fandom to retain and obtain only the most sexually obsessed in society, causing a decrease in vanilla works? Of course the purpose is not to be restrictive within the group, otherwise people will leave for more freer waters. You have to strike a balance, but also understand that those on one side of the fence won't speak the language. You have to know who can handle the truth, and who it's better to lie to because in essence they haven't proved themselves worth of the truth.

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You can't get upset when our PR is lying by trying to make the fandom a more welcoming place and trying to draw away humankind's instinctual obsession with the our most intimate of behaviors...

You know what I say when folks ask me "The question"? I tell them that only about 11% of the fandom even has a fursuit, and I can't imagine there are very many people who would spend thousands of dollars on a costume just to destroy it. Eew.

That covers the question without lying at all, and satisfies the questioner. My answer doesn't deny that those folks exist. But it does provide a more comprehensive understanding of the full picture of the fandom, via a clear and accurate framework, without going into some diatribe or sounding defensive.

Denial of the facts, regardless of how much we might not like those facts, just makes us look like a bunch of whiny babies and liars. Are there adults in the fandom? Yep! Do adults sometimes partake in adult activities? Sometimes, yes! Do people have individual and differing interests in all the areas of their lives? Of course! Is everyone the same, or indicative of the whole of humanity? Nope! Therefore assuming that one niche of a niche fandom is what the whole fandom is about, is insanity, plain and simple.

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Yes, I can get upset by lying; it's fucking lying.

And now you're Xydexx, because you are actively promoting lies.

I'm sorry, I feel justified in everything I've ever said negative about the fandom because you are straight up taking an immoral stance. You should feel bad about what you just wrote, because it's terrible, and whoever five-starred you should also feel bad.

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If someone told you lying is immoral, they were lying. The Bible says it plainly, bearing false witness against your neighbor is immoral. There is a distinct difference between the two. One is lying, the other is lying with purpose of harming another.

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Why are we accepting the Bible as our infallible guide to all matters moral, exactly?

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Actually, good point, Silvermink.

I'm not talking about Christian morality; I'm talking about ethics.

I can't trust you anymore, Sonious. Were you really giving your honest opinions about those video games you reviewed, or did you just give an opinion you thought people would like? Did you even play them? I don't know, because you just told me you have no problem lying if it can get you what you want.

And, once again, it's hypocritical; the media is bad for telling lies that gets them what they want, but it's totally fine for you to make shit up if it helps you. And I know you have your reasonings and your excuses (well, my lies aren't hurting anyone, right?), but they are. They are hurting someone. They're hurting you.

You just Rakuen Growlithed, Sonious. I don't need the Bible to tell me lying is evil anymore than I need the Bible to tell me fucking dogs is evil. You really think this is me coming at you from a religious standpoint?

That being said, I'll keep you in my prayers.

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You play an anthropomorphic fox on the internet, isn't that a "lie"? Then isn't the very premise of anthropomorphism based upon the lie that we project human characteristic onto non-human forms?

I guess that means by your belief system furry in an of itself cannot be ethical, nor trusted. Unless you're a liar about your definition of lying.

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I know it is a lot more than I said, but since I had no paperwork to prove the larger number, I understated it purposely. Thanks for the link to the wikifur page though, now I can prove the "outrageous" claim that we donate more to charity annually than a senator gets paid.

I would love to see the summary if it is different than the page you linked please. :3

I agree [media not just reporters], and lack of time to cover a topic properly as well as the bad news you discovered via research on the folks who approached you are perfect reasons to say no to an interview. (I like talking to reporters too, been doing it for decades, just not as a "furry". There's far more to me (and most of us, I'd hope), than a single fan interest.)

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Its more than 1k there cost of transportation lodging and salaries. I m not sure if viacommix.com is part of Viacom or an independent company. If its later and a small company it a big hit.

What will this what will this have on the media. I guess furry stories will be Kryptonite to the Hollywood and mainstream media and the media will finally just give up realizing there just too much bad blood.

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That was their choice to make if they wanted to eat this, they made it. Part of business. Empathy is a good thing to have, but sometimes it's best to let those who choose to go down a path, you can't convince them to do otherwise.

I'm sure there are good people that work there, too bad they'll never get about to proving it to us and others. They could have been acting nice to try and get us to drop our guard. I was hoping they would prove me wrong.

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Our con chairman is inexperienced, and a lot of bad choices were made on a lot of things, and with just 4 months notice. He was also responsible for 98% of communication that should have happened. All the rest of the staff jumped on board knowing we were only given 4 months, without a choice on that to us. We did so to try and make it as least a trainwreck as possible.

I own up to all the crap we did wrong, and it was a lot. I know a lot of people still had a good time.

As for the camera crew, they were very pleasant and courteous to everyone, and honestly I was told by many they were practically invisible except for a few times if you just happened to be in a certain place at a certain time, and there were few of them. Unfortunately it sounds like the production company was not pleased with the restrictions placed on the filming. We tried to do what we could with them, while also seeing to running a convention and keeping attendance as happy as we could, so I'm really sorry to hear that it wasn't positive for them. We tried to make sure expectations were known.

As for the charity donations, $6 at closing ceremonies was all that was IN the donation jar. It is entirely possible (and likely) that the charity emptied it Saturday night. Unfortunately our con chair did not keep tabs to get that info.

As for Friday's events, they were always only a social mixer and dance starting in the evening. I think a majority of people were aware. All newsletters I sent out locally, and all tweets from my personal account or the PDXfurs account said as much. I thought the website did as well, so I guess I can only apologize if the chair didn't clarify it. I know everyone showed up at the time we had specified. Unfortunately there was a HUGE delay because the hotel double booked the room and gave it to us several hours late, which led to a mad rush to set up the stage, sound, and lighting.

Needless to say, we have many things that will be done very very differently next year. We took our bumps and learned some valuable lessons.

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Thanks for the response! I'll check with PAW Team for the charity figure; I don't see why they wouldn't release it.

I know all too well that when you're stressed, communication can be the first thing that breaks down.

I've also heard of places pulling that double-booking trick before. Hope you can find a better host next time.

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I understand that a good deal of the staff worked hard for those that were there. I know you were short handed. I think there were some whose hearts were in a different place is all. Not in a bad place per say, but I don't think their goal was toward the success of the convention, but toward the success of the fandom in the public eye.

Both are noble goals, but when working on the convention staff I think one needs to step back and realize that if one makes a good convention that makes the city lots and lots of money, they will look past all those weird rumors and stick up for you.

It's sad that that's a motivator in things, but I've seen that, particularly with Pittsburgh's press. When a CSI writer backpedaled it was a Pittsburgh news agency that pressed them on the 'research' done for the Fur and Loathing episode. To which they admitted they exaggerated the shock factor for entertainment sake. They said "We're not the history channel" (which shows how dated the quote was as now the History Channel isn't known for it's keeping things 'dully accurate' either these days)

That being said, taking a step forward and addressing it to the best of your ability with what you have, particularly from what should be a 'lower' position indeed shows commitment to your convention. My hopes is that it doesn't leave bad blood with your superiors if they would rather just not talk about these things and instead give you more responsibility to help them in their cause.

It is my hope that now that this rough patch is out of the way you guys can focus on making your convention awesome. If people had a good time even with the handicaps this year, I'm sure you can turn things around and I will say that I do hope furs do give you guys a second chance.

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Hello, I am Saph. (Not Seph, or Seth)

As far as letting the public know that a camera crew was going to be following me around, it wasn't finalized until a few days prior to the event. A minor misconception, is that since I was not chair of this event, only handling logistics along with my associate Triss, we had limited administrative access to the event media itself such as the website and social media broadcasts like Twitter.

At the event, it was made very clear that the camera crew was there not to film the convention, but to film me and my staff, and how we were putting together a large event. The unfortunate miscommunication between us and the producers comes from explaining what restrictions and limitations we had to place, to make sure that people wouldn't completely freak out over the cameras to one person, and a completely different person coming down with a camera crew and a different expectation of what she was able to film.

The camera crew was very courteous, polite, and flexible. They showed nothing but the upmost respect for the convention, the fandom, and the people who were attending. I am honestly saddened that I wont get to work with them again, but unfortunately we were understaffed, running around, trying to do an event on a short planning span, without a lot of internal help. Don't get me wrong, we had people come down from Rainfurrest, who gave us a mountain of support, who coached us through what we were doing wrong, and praised us for what we were doing right. However, this was our first convention, and despite some of the hiccups, it went off rather well.

We could have had someone more skilled doing our accounting. There are several areas in which we were lacking, however that is one of the major ones. No money came up missing, nothing is unaccounted for, we just don't have the logs, records, times, transactions, legers, ect, that we would like to have to share with everyone. I can tell you one thing, almost everything that people did enjoy at the convention material wise, whether it be the audio equipment, the lighting, the video games, the card games, the live entertainment, came out of the people who were running the event's pockets. Mine included. We all also paid our basic membership on top of that.

Asking the production company for a monetary donation towards our charity is not something that they normally do. When it comes to documentaries, they don't reimburse, compensate, or provide anything. They just follow you around with the cameras. For them to donate 1000$ to our charity is very, very generous of them. Especially since they had to shell out an ungodly amount of money to the university whom owned the hotel that we were unfortunate enough to deal with. They had to deal with hostile people who instead of politely expressing themselves, threw up the finger, profanity, and other rude gestures. I have nothing but respect for them, and the care they were showing in presenting a positive image of the fandom, and like I said above, its really unfortunate that they have chosen to go another direction.

We have a lot of reviews written about or convention from people out of state, who didn't attend, and caught wind of some of the controversial things that we chose to include in Furlandia, and for the most part we welcome every opinion on our convention. It gives us an opportunity to shed light on questions that some people might have but not know where to ask, it allows us to clarify misconceptions and clear up misunderstandings. I personally had a miserable time at Furlandia, because I was busy putting on a good show for the fandom. I was busy making sure others had a good time, and that events and panels had what they needed. Was there mistakes? Yeah, it would be silly of me to ignore them. However you don't learn anything if you don't make mistakes. You don't gain anything if you don't take a chance.

Will there be a next year? You had better believe it. For every one person who didn't have a good time, there are at least 20 people who openly admit and broadcast that they had a good time. Even if I have to pay for it myself, I will make sure that those people have a place to come next year and experience a convention in Portland.

As for the cameras, well, I wish them luck in whatever direction they go. I just continue to hope its a positive direction.

~Saphy

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I was still spelling that wrong? I just can't stop that, sorry I'll put that in for correction.

As far as the way it was handled I can understand why you wouldn't want to make an announcement of the media presence if it hadn't been approved by the chairman. However, it would have been better to say something about the intent of having them there under the stipulations you were working toward and then update it later if something changed (like the con-chair did not approve of it).

That's neither here nor there now as apparently though they were present they weren't effectively (since they won't be using the footage), so I think everyone can take a deep breath and move on.

I hope I didn't come off as too harsh on the convention, I know there were those that had a good time. That's why I hope it keeps going.

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Its not that the chair didn't approve it, its that the means to communicate with the public via social media and the website was in the chairs hands, not ours. Therefore we were not able to push standard updates, information, and last minute notification of limited media involvement.

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Gotcha, sorry for the misunderstanding. Then I hope that if the chair is busy with other issues that he'll push for a communications officer to help him make decisions on when to make announcements and effectively use that twitter feed. I think that'll go a long way, especially as things get much smoother for 2014.

What's done is done. You guys are handling this rather well. This fandom is infamous for its arm flailing in the face of criticisms, there are certainly cooler heads on your board.

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For anyone contemplating starting a furry convention, I highly recommend first getting experience with staffing at another convention. Both Kage and myself volunteered and staffed at SF cons before getting involved with Anthrocon. If you look at any of the recent cons that had trouble-free first years, chances are you'll find a good proportion of their committees had experience as staff at other cons.

As for MTV and television in general:

Television is not the truth. Television's a goddamned amusement park! Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business. So if you want the truth, go to God. Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves! Because that's the only place you're ever gonna find any real truth. But, man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you wanna hear. We lie like hell. We'll tell you that Kojak always gets the killer and that nobody ever gets cancer in Archie Bunker's house. And no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry. Just look at your watch. At the end of the hour he is going to win! We'll tell you any shit you want to hear! We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night. All ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even think like the tube. This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! We are the illusion!
Network (1976)

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I absolutely agree. Our circumstance in Portland was a bit special unfortunately.

In our case, starting a convention now was not ideal nor anyone's idea aside from 1 person and an outside backer who selected a place we didn't realize was so bad, and a time of only 4 months out. It was going to happen regardless if any of the rest of us supported him. He is our friend however, and was financially liable, so as parts of the community we came together to help salvage it as best we could to minimize his folly.

I'd rather all of us had been far more experienced, but the trigger was pulled and it was do or die. Portland's community after several other failures in the planning stage and issues among our local "politics" could not handle a convention finally getting off the ground only to be the wreck it would have been otherwise (relative to what it might have been).

For next year, several of us will be either getting experience beforehand (in my and Saph's case by staffing at Rainfurrest. He as Party Maven and myself as Con Chairman shadow and assistant) or getting advisement and assistance from key members of other conventions. We are not new to event organization, or convention attending, but obviously this is a whole other beast.

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I would say in response to the quote that while going to one's Gods and Gurus is nice and all, some "gurus" are in the business of selling you what you want you want to hear as well.

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I'm slightly concerned that the con thought things were going GREAT with filming, and the film crew bailed out.

That says something about their motives.

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It could say other things... about understanding of social cues, how to act in a spotlight, how shows are made... i have no idea, but complaints and excuses without input from the TV crew doesnt make a clear story. Not saying the con crew is doing a bad job of explaining, but theres a lot of other opinions tossed in here that dont sound very well grounded. Armchair opinions are easy, but organizing an event or making a tv show isnt.

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MTV has made it repeatedly clear what it wants us to do in the nature of the shows of us they HAVE aired.

The thought it would be something different THIS TIME, doesn't hold up to rigor.

I'm sorry, I've been involved with events, events that MTV has asked to attend.. and we declined them because we used their history.

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This sounds like a shallow opinion. I've worked on MTV shows and enjoyed it. It's a large company that produces many shows under many directors and includes outside contracted companies. You need to do much better at trying to make your complaint.

On the other hand, a company wasted a thousand dollar donation and very expensive production time on subjects who were boring at best.

What happened at worst, isnt clear, but i have a feeling some people at that company arent happy. From the attitudes i hear, i suspect it may involve immaturity or unprofessionalism. And that sucks. A blown opportunity to show what furry fans can do.

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I think that this thread has derailed to the point where positive contributions to the conversation is no longer possible.

I welcome actual questions, constructive comments, and valid concerns. Rather than preaching about the evil media empire that people are so cautious about.

~Saphy

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Likewise I agree. I'm not answering any further posts that don't directly ask a question of or seek clarification in a concise manner about Furlandia or the facts involving the specific circumstance that the blog post was about. I'm willing to answer about the relevant topics fully and honestly

Most of the comments have become generalized and sweeping, speculative, narrow, or hearsay it feels.

I absolutely appreciate Sonious and Greenreaper's willingness to seek information and present a fair and clear picture, so thank you both greatly.

Feel free to follow what we do besides Furlandia at www.pdxfurs.com as well.

~Triss

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Unfortunately the reply to threads thing for the site is somewhat broken as you'll come to learn. These people aren't talking to you per say, they're talking with one another. I wouldn't use random cross talk such as this in any decision making for sure. In fact I would hope if people had suggestions to you they would make them in a direct message.

Comment's on the internet tend to be a "talking to nobody but those who may be here" kind of way unless they are a direct reply. Even then they'll show up in the emails.

I think what would be helpful in this case would be to make the "Replies to my comment" the default for notification instead of "All Comments" as it is currently (that's directed toward GreenReaper *cough*).

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"the evil media empire that people are so cautious about"

That's just what I have to object to. They're people in the entertainment business, furries are fans of entertainment media. Surely there could be more understanding of how shows are made and why treating it as "eeeevil!" reflects badly on furry fans.

There's surely more to the story, but without anyone representing the experience of the TV crew, it won't be a very productive topic. I think you're well justified in leaving it alone.

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No; furries are not fans of "entertainment media", but of anthropomorphic animals. In some cases, the two intersect, but reality shows are not one of them. (Personally, I do not watch any TV, though I suspect I'm an outlier.)

At the end of the day, many furries are actively anti-business and don't want to be exploited by a media company.

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I just meant that in the broadest sense, those interests come from imaginative storytelling... generally for mass audience... books, comics, TV, movies... entertainment media. Reality shows might not be a great example, but even unscripted documentary is still storytelling.

(I don't watch much TV either, but I'm mighty impressed by some of the longer series being made right now.)

We could also say pop culture. Not everyone likes Disney (quite the media empire), but they have a big role as a gateway for furry fans, so I think it's OK to associate that too.

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I get that, but it's just way too broad - it's like saying that just because I have a Hotmail account means I'm a fan of Microsoft's Surface, know how to use Windows 8, and understand the principles behind making an app for it. Or that I know how to make animation having watched one. There's a leap from consumer to producer.

I wouldn't be too sure that we know much about pop culture, either! Furry often acts as a counterculture. (Though it can also be highly derivative, e.g. half of the furry variety show acts for the last decade.)

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Unlike the anime fandom we are fans of our own creation. I have study the media for some time due to my involvement in Politics and at one time advocating a "religious conservative issues".
My experiences with the media is they are going to make the fandom or a politician look bad is it is their goal to make them look bad or to fit a script as in the case of MTV. Any attempt of understanding or working with the entertainment media is moot.
Ignoring the media making one not fit the script is valid tactic in both politics (as in the Tea Party) and for the fandom. If anything I see the charge of make us look bad by the media as a hiss fit inflamed fallacy. They are just mad we will not corporate. Furthermore I do not see any reason to kowtow to the entertainment industry. If II was in charge and had to choose any media at Furlanda. I rather have Willamette Week, Channel 12 News rather than MTV or IFC (producers of Portlandia).
We do not need MTV or the entertainment industry in Portland we can get the word out on our own. Some here in Portland and Furlandia doing that by involving ourselves with other fan conventions and what I see here a burgeoning distinct geek culture in Portland. For me I already do an older Fan panel at Kumoricon (anime) and think of doing a fury 101 panel ant Newcon.
like other I said my last on this subject

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HI ALL! Haven't had time to check in on this...I find this feed informative and interesting...Lots of drama out there! Articulated well! FIRST want to say THANKS to SAPHY for even entertaining the thought of us coming out there to film. Both Erika and I interviewed him before MTV approved his story and before our production company sent a crew out. We found Saphy and his friends funny, intelligent, interesting and opinionated. Smart focused individuals who we thought would be great for our documentary. Unfortunately it did not work out. We weren't there to see what went "wrong" but pushed for a return. Looks like that won't be happening, but doesn't mean we regret "casting" him. He was amazing and we thank him for letting us into his world! Most of you have heard we are looking to find another story and for the record already have a few great individuals interested. I thought you might like to read how we answer questions to those interested in possibly participating (see below) For the record, Erika and I ALWAYS look to tell a good, balanced story. We look for people who have a lot going on. It adds many elements to the shoot. A "big" event always makes for a great ending! Saphy's convention would have been an excellent "end" to his story..a once in a lifetime "look inside" a "get together" of like minded people. So that's what I know....So you all have a better understanding of what I've done..I personally have "cast" everything from "Lock up" for MSNBC... to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills..from one end of the spectrum to the other! ALL fascinating people with different challenges in their lives. The common denominator with all of those that choose to participate is for one reason or the other they WANT to show us who they are. I (we) find interesting people everywhere! Some are train wrecks, others are not. In every situation. It's just human nature...Furry or no furry...prisoner or no prisoner etc etc....

So here is an example of what is exchanged when someone may be interested in doing our Furry Documentary...

ANONYMOUS: I did have a few questions, if you don’t mind me asking:

- What is this documentary about, exactly? I understand you’re covering the furry culture, but in what way? In what context are you introducing this to the world at large? I understand she said it was a positive documentary, but I’m a bit skeptical, mainly because so many in the past have sought to demonize the culture, rather than understand it. I just want to make certain that everyone’s on the same page, and that this is done with the best of intentions.

- What are you looking for, specifically, from us? I know FurryMate was the one who got you in touch with us, but I’m curious as to what made everyone involved choose us rather than some other couple. Do not get me wrong, I am honored to take part in something like this, by all means. I’m just curious as to what brought you to us specifically, and what kind of questions you might ask us.

- Where is this going to be aired, if anywhere? Will this be on national television, or is it an independent film effort? I’m willing to participate in either one, I would just like to know the context, once again, of the documentary in question.

I apologize if my questions sound accusatory or hostile, they were not meant to. I am just cautious in regards to things like this, due to all the bad press that has come in the past. I want this to be an uplifting and positive message for everyone, and I do my best to share a message of Love wherever I go.

Thank you very much for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

ME Hi! It would be for TRUE LIFE MTV. Basically as a documentary, we want to follow our subject, inside as many personal things as possible. It might be an hour or a two- parter. We might film them in the workplace, meet families (some may "get" the fandom, some may not)...attend events that come up etc.
Erika and I thought it would be cool to focus on an up n coming important event ...like a wedding! Everyone loves love, right?

It's really quite hard to fully cover the fandom without doing many episodes as there are many different stories out there. Lots of history,
different viewpoints, levels of expression etc. So WE just want to find smart, interesting people first...then introduce the fact that they also happen to be a furry. If we did a documentary on a housewife, it could go a variety of ways,...depending on the person....
She could be a lunatic or level headed...but a housewife either way...so the subject then determines the outcome or feel of the story..

... when we say we are looking to do a positive story, we start with the people first.. solid, educated opinionated people with stuff going on in their lives...When we have great "subjects" people will say..."Oh wow, they are just like everyone else"... but just happen to be a furry...does that make sense?

We've interviewed a TON of great people...all of them attribute successes in their lives to the fandom. Some lives were even saved by the fandom...we respect that and are just looking for the right folks to follow. We also want people to have fun with this. After all, that's what being a furry is all about...so want our potential cast to be open...just say "yeah, so what I'm a furry...I'm proud of it" and we all can't be the same, right?

Does all that make sense..answer some of your questions? I hope that cleared things up a bit! How Erika and I work is, we interview via SKYPE, cut them down to 5 minute and producers then decide who to film! Sometimes location is a deciding factor......Happy to chat a bit further (get it, FUR ther?)!! I can ring you tomorrow or Friday...always fun to say "hi" even if it doesn't pan out...
PS You weren;t accusatory AT ALL...happy to answer any and all questions!!!

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To add clarity to what type of shows True Life airs, here is a listing of their episodes by season courtesy of Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_True_Life_episodes

It sounds a bit exploitative to me, but.. that's just me.

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You might be missing my point.....

ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French esploit (noun), based on Latin explicare ‘unfold’ (see explicate ). The early notion of [success, progress] gave rise to the sense [attempt to capture,] [military expedition,] hence the current sense of the noun. Current verb senses (mid 19th cent.) are taken from modern French exploiter.

AND

documentary |?däky??ment?r?|
adjective
consisting of official pieces of written, printed, or other matter : his book is based on documentary sources.
• (of a movie, a television or radio program, or photography) using pictures or interviews with people involved in real events to provide a factual record or report : he has directed documentary shorts and feature films.
noun ( pl. -ries)
a movie or a television or radio program that provides a factual record or report.

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I do not miss your point.

I simply posted a link to the show you rep and cast for.

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I personally wish Alex luck in finding the right candidate for the type of show they want to put on. We gave it our best, however I can understand if it is not entertaining enough to warrant further fulfillment of that story arc. We were too focused on pushing a positive image for the furry community that we didnt give enough of the personal and emotional conflict that a docudrama requires. We still appreciate what Alex and her team are trying to do, we appreciate their patience, and we appreciate them donating to our charity (we are still waiting for that check, however) for the ability to film our event.

I hope that the camera crew and production team arent met with as much resistance as they were while they were in Portland, and I hope that they get both a positive and entertaining story to broadcast to the world

~Saphy

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So you guys didn't even get the check, really? Wow.

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As of yet we are still waiting for it. We are NOT implying anything by that.

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Sorry for the delay but I have the chime in.

Too often history contradicts your comments, Too frequently in and outside the fandom we were told by producer they just want they want to do is tell our sorry but end up shown is NOT our story, for example the Tara Banks, Sex 2K and Vanity Fair. I am more intelligent than you must think and do you think I would not goole your name and see what and who you are soliciting to. If I was a hiring manager I would say sorry your not the one we are looking for to do a fury documentary.

"documentary |?däky??ment?r?|
adjective
consisting of official pieces of written, printed, or other matter : his book is based on documentary sources.
• (of a movie, a television or radio program, or photography) using pictures or interviews with people involved in real events to provide a factual record or report : he has directed documentary shorts and feature films.
noun ( pl. -ries)
a movie or a television or radio program that provides a factual record or report."

Are you willing to do a factual report even if it contradicts your or the shows presuppositions or the angle you are shooting for, or will you again pull the plug and tray to look lower on the food chain.

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Consume fecal matter and die, MTV. I've dealt with your kind before; we're _still_ cleaning up the damage all these years later. If you don't like the baggage that your network's history has created for it, go to work for a classier crowd.

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Is that a MarcotheCat drawing accompanying this article? Be careful he doesn't request its deletion, like he once did with his entire FA gallery, the mook.

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If he does he'd probably request it taken off the main Furlandia site which is where that was taken from.

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That art was done for Furlandia, so it certainly won't be forced from our website, not too worried there!

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No mention at all of the $6000 Viacom paid to the hotel, apparently underwriting the con. Good luck funding next year's Furlandia without MTV money.

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If that's true, it makes some of these attitudes on display resemble spoiled kids complaining that mom didn't make dinner right. I feel sorry for professionals who put up with immaturity. It begs the question: do furry fans feel like their subculture is worth taking seriously? If it is, act like it's possible to make a legit documentary, instead of acting over-defensive like you have a lot to hide. There's asking about intentions and questioning who should make it, but then there's "protesting too much".

If a documentary should be made by furry fans, the opportunity is there for anyone- so let's ask who has the professional resources to do it well.

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As stated in my below comment, this isn't true.

Furthermore, in this particular instance you must remember that we are not talking about some altruistic documentary. We are talking about an MTV docudrama that obviously must bring in money to have run so long.

I understand you are mostly speaking "in general", but right now it's in response to this specific situation. We were courteous and professional with them, it just didn't work out to have enough drama for them on camera.

To quote one of the early pitches to us from Asylum to try and put us at ease when voicing our suspicion for their motives for the show, "We will use whatever you give us." This is in regards to the context of the show and whether it'll be positive or negative.

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Well... guess that was a lie.

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Sounds like someone made an assumption about a location fee, then.

"Obviously must bring in money": can you explain how?

They have spent 2 years on this so far. That actually can be evidence that they're actively avoiding the easy route of paying a puppet to do what they want. I don't know; but I'm not assuming. That's why I did an interview with a rep for the MTV show that's done and in the queue to post here.

"We were courteous and professional with them, it just didn't work out to have enough drama for them on camera."

I can not comment, except I'll advise other readers that there's 2 sides to every story.

People in professional media are colleagues of mine, I have credits on MTV shows- I'm also a furry fan and fursuiter. Nobody's paying for my professional opinions here where I post fan stuff, but people pay for them elsewhere: my opinion is that there are some immature and diva-like attitudes about this subject around here.

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The series True Life would not have run for as many seasons as it has if it wasn't profitable. They are a commercial broadcaster, they aren't doing it for the goodness of their heart.

I wouldn't think it necessary to explain how a for profit network makes money by creating and broadcasting content. I was told what their budget per episode was at one point, I can't remember what it was though now.

When it comes to whether or not the convention was funded at all by Viacom or any other entertainment entity, that's not a "side", it's plain fact that it wasn't. It's also fact that we aren't talking about a fan controlled documentary, and are talking about a docudrama that needs entertainment value.

I'm not interested in getting in to an endless debate about the media however, just clearing up questions or facts related to Furlandia.

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But this show hasn't been done yet. They've been working on it for 2 years. Really, how is this profitable? It isn't.

The reasons for quitting production are what can make "sides", but readers here can only get one.

Who but a "for profit" network is going to create a professional doc? PBS? Furries themselves? Have at it.

On the other hand, you can also avoid acting like there's something to hide, and act like it's an interest worth taking seriously.

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You misunderstand my verbiage.

When I stated profitability, I was talking about the series as a whole, not this particular episode. I thought my verbiage was clear, but I apologize if it wasn't.

To rephrase; We are not talking about an altruistic documentary from the fandom. We are talking about an assumingly profitable dramatic franchise in this instance.

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This particular episode is the reason for this thread. It's the reason you have anything to do with MTV or a pro documentary, but you have nothing to do with the rest of the series. Let's be clear that this episode isn't profitable until it's done. So, it's noteworthy that it's been 2 years in production. That may be evidence against paranoid, diva-like attitudes about TV exploitation.

Who is going to make "an altruistic documentary from the fandom"? Who has the resources to do it well? A "for profit network" does, and I think some furry fans in general could present better reasons to spend them.

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The reason for this blog thread was a review/news about our startup convention, the MTV filming was only a component of that. If we've lost sight of that. The particular sub-thread we are under was specifically to counter a rumor about our finances.

That is the only reason I'm here on this site. I really don't particularly care what your or anyone else views on the media are. I don't have an agenda to advocate nor bash them. Anyone with a sense of relative sanity, self awareness, maturity, and responsibility should be capable of handling themselves on camera. I really am not interested in debating the finer details about media, as I've said.

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Yeah, it's a poor review. It says: "The first step is to admit there were issues". Your own post mentions "inexperience". Why not connect that to the finer details? You can deny it connects, but let's not pretend you're objective.

Why does it matter? Having this interest taken even a bit seriously starts with people acting like it should be. I think it's just great when furry fans do professional stuff.

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I think they have gone over what could have gone better quite a bit since this item was posted. They don't have to repeat themselves.

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It makes me wonder if a good furry documentary could be made... one of the obstacles is the attitudes of some furry fans. I put 5 figures into a documentary for a separate fan culture a few weeks ago, and would like to see a potential one here.

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Well, when a key component/staff member of your convention invites MTV, and doesn't tell anyone, then it WILL be about that. Sorry. Your convention will forever be known as the one that a staff member invited MTV to.

And it sounds like you're never gonna get that $1k from them either. So there's that too.

I hope lessons are learned here.

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"Well, when a key component/staff member of your convention invites MTV, and doesn't tell anyone, then it WILL be about that. Sorry. Your convention will forever be known as the one that a staff member invited MTV to."

Amen!

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We signed a legal contract that they would be providing it as a location fee. I have no doubt we will receive it, and am not claiming any misconduct on their part for such, to be clear.

I want to be absolutely clear that we aren't accusing them of not holding up to their agreement.

Also as stated multiple times, all of the actual staff (not necessarily volunteers, there is a distinction) was notified of the camera crew prior to the start. It was just rushed as no one, not even the invitee, knew it was going to happen until days beforehand. Obviously a camera crew isn't going to be allowed there without staff and convention owner's approval (for year zero and until we get a corporate structure in place, it is a privately owned event). We have already admitted several times that communication from said owner (the chair) was lacking, and have apologized.

The vast majority were fine with it, honestly. Of course negativity is always going to be voiced louder and more frequently than contentment. However, if we had it to do over again yes, we wouldn't have done it. It was too much a distraction, especially considering it didn't pan out. Would we do it again? Likely not. Perhaps local news coverage in the future, but nothing entertainment based.

To be fair, it may haunt us for the next year, however realistically we aren't worried about it beyond that as being an issue. We have a close relationship with Rainfurrest and have consulted on it with some of their senior staff, and they are of the same opinion. MFF one year had controversy of negative media coverage, and you never even hear about it now.

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Lets be really clear here, Mr Anonymous. One staff member did not invite a camera crew, the entire convention management did. There were several meetings about it. The unfortunate side of that is, we were not aware it was actually happening in time to make a large public broadcast about it. Nor did we necessarily need to, since they were not there to film the public, but only a few people in particular.

In a nutshell, you're making assumptions over something silly. The convention was a success financially, without the networks help. The people running it all learned valuable skills which they will continue to use years to come in throwing events. (this isnt our first rodeo) and despite the few people who had a bad time because they have a phobia and paranoia about the media, or those who were disappointed that portland didnt have a traditional convention (big shock, its portland!) people will come back next year, and new people will come and have a great time.

I encourage you, if you are so very concerned with the decisions we make, to get involved with the community and volunteer with a convention. This one if you're local, or one that is near by you. A small voice over the internet (even anonymously) is a drop in the bucket versus actually putting your best foot forward and stepping up to the challenge of running an event for others to enjoy.

In other words, if you think you can do it better, then do it (: No one is stopping you.
~Saphy

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I've done such work with conventions before. Many of them. Many BIG ones. And that's why I'm remaining anonymous, because if I spoke with my name, it could be seen as speaking for that big convention.

I wish you the best of luck. This was a big mistake you made, and treating people like its their fault they don't understand is silly. You're lecturing me from a position below me. I just didn't feel the need to name drop because I didn't think it was necessary to prove bona fides.

But I'm out. Clearly you know better than major furcons, since you know better than me.

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You know I was going to say "Unless 'Mr. Anonymous' already did it".

After so many years on the internet one learns to never assume anything about anonymous statements.

Unless it's Xxydex, but that's just cause he says lots of the same things.

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"You're lecturing me from a position below me."

Your ego and elitism is a credit to whatever organization you serve. Clearly you are beyond reproach and someone in your position isn't capable of mistaken thinking. I hope one day I too am incapable of short-sightedness and am infallible in my way of thinking, as everyone raised above me is!

If you are going to throw your opinion around, don't hide your identity. If it's a bad idea for -you- to speak, then don't speak. If someone wants to cast stones, they should have the courage to do so.

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Don't ask for things you don't want... don't ask for things you don't want... don't ask for things you don't want.

Trust me if the person reveals who they are it may only hurt you... tread lightly. They may not be revealing who they are for your benefit and not their's.

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You assume that I care. I'm not one of those that worships or reveres other furries. They are people, they are prone to the same mistakes as any other person. They are no more important as a contributor to the human race than anyone else.

They stated they were anon because of their ties to another organization and not wanting to be misinterpreted as speaking for it.

While the content of what they are saying isn't necessarily invalid, the attitude is indefensible, and unprofessional. I'm a mature adult, I don't feel the need to lord over people or exert my position in a fandom. I can solve my differences like a mature adult as well. If he or she was someone local I'd be more than willing to go out and have a beer and talk about it while listening to their viewpoint on the matter and discussing it.

The bottom line is, I'm not really capable of feeling bullied in this regard. Not that the threat was there, but in general. I also don't have any hard feelings towards anyone, it's business to me.

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If you go back and read the statements that "unprofessional" response was in response to Saphy's assumptions that the anonymous person he was speaking to was a do nothing whiner and nothing more. That can be insulting if you work hard at conventions yourself.

He insulted them, they insulted back. Leave it be. That's all I'm saying, not to praise the guy. As a business person one should know that networking is everything. In a fandom this small, and conventions getting more and more competitive this is even more so. If this person does have clout they may not reveal who they are here, but you can rest assure they'll be telling their friends to avoid your convention by word of mouth. If they have lots of friends... or say a panel where they can share the story... from a business perspective that is not good.

I'm thinking about this from a business end for you too. If you still wish to go for it, go for it. Good luck to ya.

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Saphy was responding to their presumptuously negative post as it is. And likely assuming, whether wrong or right I'm not sure, that it was the same Anon that spread the rumor here about our financial situation without checking or clarifying for fact.

I also don't see Saphy's post as being insulting. There was nothing bad about any of it aside the last 1/3 maybe, and I think he was trying to inspire not insult, though the last line might have been phrased better.

Our assumption is the original Anon poster about the 6k MTV financial backing claim, is likely a local we know. Our stance for some of the critics has been to invite them to help us make a better experience. That's what Saphy was trying to convey. He was trying to encourage participation, and if not able to participate with us, then participate with whatever is local to better it. If you catch what I mean.

If it was taken as an insult, then I think it's a miscommunication.

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You're assuming that the anon who made the 6K comment is the same one that made the anon comment down the thread. For anon comments, you can't make those kind of assumptions. It's also sometimes best to just leave them alone most times especially if they seem attacky, people don't give them credibility unless they are responded to.

There are just people in this fandom who aren't going to forgive over this, you can't be concerned about that at this point, instead you should focus on next year improvements and hope for the best of those that aren't going to hold the decision as a grudge show up. It was something that should have been known going in was going to cause a stir. It did.

As I've said in the article, PR is good, but sometimes you got to know when you've done all you can do and just take action instead of continuing with words.

With that, I'll not contribute to the threads here anymore as it has grown to the point where nothing more of value I feel is being added. You've done what you could with the PR here, people will probably still come from time to time and gripe about the past grievences of MTV. It'll peeter out eventually if you let it.

Good luck.

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Also, I guess my point is that if they feel they can't say who they are, then they probably shouldn't express a public stance on something. I don't feel it right that someone hide behind anonymity, regardless of the reason.

By all means though, if it's for the reasons you say, or hell any reason I suppose, and they just don't want it publicly known, I encourage them to feel free to email me to talk about it amicably. I'm more than willing to listen to what they have to say or their opinion or if they want to ask any questions, or whatever.

Should they check this, an email to reach me is;

Triss[at]PDXFurs[dot]com

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If it's true it certainly does put the convention runners in a precarious position for next year. They were looking for a new hotel anyway. We'll see what happens.

I always love it people say "no mention" of something when they're the first to do so :)

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This is not at all true. Viacom in no way funded Furlandia.

What IS true, is that the university, Portland State University, did require a 2k per day location fee to film, as the hotel is on campus and they own it. This was not paid to the hotel, and the hotel management was not part of this deal. In total, 4k was paid for location usage to PSU. The hotel and university were not even aware it was happening until 2 days before the con started, which is when we decided to even allow them to film at all there. We had the hotel spaced reserved months before then, well before we ever spoke with Viacom or Asylum Ent. at all.

1k was paid to us for our charity, which as Saph said we are still awaiting the check for. That was OUR deal for letting them get any part of the convention, because we wanted to raise the money for a good cause.

Again TO CLARIFY: Furlandia was entirely funded out of our own pockets, fundraising done in the Portland community, and memberships. There was no underwriting or benefactors outside of staff.

Man, furries love to make rumors.

~Triss

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That's if the anon person is a furry...

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Fair enough!

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well, since you've incorporated the PDXFURS as a non-profit corporation with the state of oregon, I look forward to your required annual reporting filings. Then we'll see.

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Dude, I called every single furry in the fandom a "fuck" earlier in this comments section, but you're just getting nasty now.

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Furlandia was a private event, owned by a private citizen (the Chairman) not associated with the PDXFurs. We sponsored the event in some capacity, however we were not financially liable for it, nor were we handling any intake of money from the event.

Likewise, Viacom nor Asylum Entertainment had any financial dealings with the owner of the convention in any capacity, or PDXFurs as an entity.

While your tone seems to be nasty, I'm still sorry to say you won't find what you're looking for. If you've any questions on the matter and don't wish to take the word of the only two people dealing with the media during the event, you can email the Chair at admin(at)furlandia(dot)org

If Alex Shaw (casting director at Asylum, the production company actually financing the filming) happens to check back in and wants to set the record straight on that rumor, she can feel free as well.

Saphy and I are not new to planning and executing events, albeit shorter in nature. We would never allow ourselves to be financially dependent on an outside entity, nor get wrapped up in one that is. That doesn't make any sort of sense for sustainability.

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So whoever happened to sign the paperwork isn't sponsored at all with the local group pretty much running the show? Fascinating. This really doesn't bode well for the perception that you all can finance and successfully run a long-term convention in Portland. But then again as everyone learned at the con itself, transparency and effective communication isn't exactly something you've mastered.

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You really are a Negative Nancy, aren't you? Heh.

I'm not sure of your use of the word "sponsored", I'm guessing you mean affiliated? I really don't follow your line of reasoning as to how that matters or has anything to do with finances though, especially since PDXFurs doesn't exist to bring in money. o.O

He and a partner got the ball rolling. The PDXFurs (Saphy and I) joined to help him out. As it stands right now, it's on him to run a long-term convention, that's not our call or concern aside from our want to benefit our local community. I can't imagine why some in said community seem as though they'd rather there be no con here.

The convention did very well for itself and made more money than it cost from just the memberships. I believe that defines it as financially self-sufficient.

Your attempts to troll need some work! However, if you are by chance local, why not help us make something special for the community instead? I won't be responding to this particular line of interaction anymore, but feel free to get in touch with that admin furlandia email!

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Going on the assumption you're the same anon from earlier, you earlier claimed you were above them, your words aren't doing your actions much justice if that is the case.

Holding a grudge against the furry organization in Portland is not going to help furries, particularly those of Portland. You despise MTV but the kind of self centered thinking, 'take down people I don't like at all costs' attitude you're presenting is very much the kind of thing MTV likes.

Before you go on your crusade, know that there are furries, who I have watch Youtube videos of that this was their first con. By the sounds of it they couldn't afford to travel all the way out to some of the "better" ones. They too would be victims of your wrath.

I'm sure that there are people who don't care for you, but they don't take it out on your entire convention. Or maybe they do, but aren't you supposed to be better than them?

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I am that anon from earlier, but some clarification.

1) I wish the best for all furs, in all conventions. I bowed out because I didn't want any confusion on whether the conventions I worked for endorsed my statements, not because I wanted to hurt people. I had to be anonymous because of what I do, not because I was wanting to have free shots.

2) I did not post anything above about their organization or $6000 or anything like that. That's not me. I'm not connected to any furry organizations in the northwest. I'm more a.. well.. that'd be telling, but suffice to say, not northwest. That's someone else, and I agree their conversation is counterproductive.

To be more clear, I am comments #128 and #132 and no other comments.

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Maybe you should, like, post as "Frankie" or something generic like that, at least in this thread.

You can keep your privacy, but at least we'd stop confusing you with other "anons."

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Yeah, it gets kind of confusing trying to determine which Anonymous person is trying to tear down our efforts within the community.

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Then let me say it plainly. When you made your statement about the lessons learned, they were already learned. You took the time to learn that MTV didn't give them the check to the charity yet, you must have read all those other parts where they were going over the errors and confirming them and planning to move forward?

Do you think it's going to help them in moving forward to have to worry about a furry from across the country shoving their nose in their local group's personal records trying to look for things to throw more mud on them that they have already acknowledged was on themselves? Do you think that's for the best of the furry community or the best for yourself because you felt insulted when they treated you like some random fur instead of one with more clout?

When you choose to be anonymous people tend to take the words as if they're coming from a nobody more often then not. You should have expected that coming in. Getting a bit agitated at their assumptions was one thing, but holding a grudge against their entire organization and threatening to go through their books is another.

If this con is destined to fail as you claim, then why waste your time assisting it, won't it fall without you? We don't need Big Fuzzie Government trying to dictate which cons fail and which ones succeed, they'll do that on their own.

"Feelins'? Look mate, you know who has a lot of feelings? Blokes what bludgeon their wife to death with a golf trophy. Professionals have standards."

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Again.

I did not threaten to go through their books, nor do I want to. I'm sorry this is unclear.

This is what I said, entirely:

Well, when a key component/staff member of your convention invites MTV, and doesn't tell anyone, then it WILL be about that. Sorry. Your convention will forever be known as the one that a staff member invited MTV to.

And it sounds like you're never gonna get that $1k from them either. So there's that too.

I hope lessons are learned here.

and

I've done such work with conventions before. Many of them. Many BIG ones. And that's why I'm remaining anonymous, because if I spoke with my name, it could be seen as speaking for that big convention.

I wish you the best of luck. This was a big mistake you made, and treating people like its their fault they don't understand is silly. You're lecturing me from a position below me. I just didn't feel the need to name drop because I didn't think it was necessary to prove bona fides.

But I'm out. Clearly you know better than major furcons, since you know better than me.

(And obviously the one above, and this one :D) That is it. And I am out of here. Best wishes.

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Ah okay, I'm reading this from the website so the thread looks like this:

"well, since you've incorporated the PDXFURS as a non-profit corporation with the state of oregon, I look forward to your required annual reporting filings. Then we'll see." -Anon (#145)

[Responses]

"So whoever happened to sign the paperwork isn't sponsored at all with the local group pretty much running the show? Fascinating. This really doesn't bode well for the perception that you all can finance and successfully run a long-term convention in Portland. But then again as everyone learned at the con itself, transparency and effective communication isn't exactly something you've mastered." -Anon (#148)

then my comment which started with "Assuming your the same anon..." #150

To which you replied "I am that anon from earlier, but some clarification."

In the context of conversation it felt as if you were owning at least the one I was directly responding to (#148), because if you weren't it seems you would have started with something like "You're assuming wrong, I'm the anon from earlier and what you are replying to are not my posts. That's someone else."

However, despite that, your last sentence did spell out that you only owned two posts neither of which were the ones which threatened to look at their books, and not the one I was responding to. That was my mistake, thank you for clearing that up and taking your time to do so.

My apologies, all this anon parsing is a bit perplexing. Online conversations are difficult enough to parse without having 10+ people use the same name (or lack their of). Now my cool sounding lectures are now absolutely meaningless... well I guess they've always been... but those ones even more so.

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I guess I'd like to re-request..

Did the $1000 come through? That, again, says a lot to me about MTV/TrueLife's feelings towards us.

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Hello, and sorry for the delayed response.

Yes, Asylum Entertainment has produced a check to our charity, Portland Animal Welfare Team in the sum of 1000$.

Both the Portland furry community and PAW are extremely grateful as it will provide some much needed services to those who are in need of veterinary care.

~Saphy

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Thanks for the update.

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The better question is why he, while on duty at RainFurrest, was loudly (and with a proud smile) proclaiming to have 'Conned MTV out of $4000 for charity' (exact words) for a bunch of filming they aren't going to be using for anything.

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Because people tend to exaggerate past events with themselves as the protagonist?

Ah well, if that's the worst thing to happen after this, then that's fine. It does show to me that MTV, by not using the footage they hastled them with has left hard feelings with the Furlandia staff. It's not good for them because it means this one bridge they had, they decided to burn.

Although it seems like they're try to take 'furry' as their own with all the music videos and VMA performances using costume performers. Unfortunately for them, people can find better quality stuff (and hilarious to say this, but more TASTEFUL stuff) in the actual fandom.

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That's quite an interpretation. A production company is supposed to owe airing footage to people in it, or the con should get to tell the director not to leave anything on the cutting room floor? I thought MTV was paying people to make a show for TV, not getting paid to make a wedding video for friends and family.

Whether MTV shows have content you like or not, they're pros at producing it. For the staff of the first time con, all I can say is opinions vary. If they have hard feelings about "not using the footage" it only adds a reason to guess who caused disappointment. Just because something is produced doesn't mean it's worth showing.

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Ironic you should use the wedding analogy since the show's producer was looking for furry weddings after the footage from Furlandia 'fell flat'.

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Yeah, they asked me about it :) If it was a wedding, they would be paying the people in it, not the other way around.

It reminds me of a book I was just leafing through to help a business partner... "Writing children's books for publication". So the manual has dual authors. One a writer, the other a publisher... two different jobs and two perspectives on the same topic. Butt loads of people have a kids book they really love, something they think is very special. Very few are special beyond friends and family or get published. This topic is filming a furry con... for airing on TV. If you're working with TV people, they have a job to do that's different from pleasing you- getting upset about not getting aired would show furries in a pretty poor light. But it seems not. I'm glad con staff addressed it down there. :)

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So I'll chime in as current interim Chairman of Furlandia, and include responses to other replies. I can't speak for what an individual wants to say or claim, and I'll address it with them of course. However, the claim of procuring $4000 for charity isn't true, and is entirely unsupported by Furlandia. We've gone over at length here and elsewhere the actual figure of $1000 payed directly to the charity, and then the location fee Viacom had to pay the university, which never came in to our hands personally. The intent was absolutely good, and there was no intent to "con" or deceive anyone.

There are no hard feelings from the convention or the staff to my knowledge. As far as Furlandia is concerned, Viacom handled themselves very professionally and were extremely courteous. If the story that would have been told wouldn't have been agreeable, we much prefer that the footage wasn't used, as is the case.

If you've any other questions, by all means contact me at triss(at)furlandia(dot)org

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Thanks, I suppose it was not fair of me to infer that the stories of one individual spoke for the feelings of the entire staff. Though if I were trying to run around to make sure they got good footage all weekend for nothing, I'd be a bit perturbed.

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What I said was what happened. I was there. Others were there. The figures spouted, after reading through here, are incorrect by a wide margin to the official story. The person that said them was wrong and I imagine knew full well they were when they said it.

I'm sure Furlandia staff did the best damage control it could given resources at hand and who was being dealt with. I'm quite impressed in a lot of ways by the work Triss has been doing. What's sad about it to me is that Triss is spending a LOT of time covering for the damage and PR nightmare that someone else made. It shouldn't be Triss's job to do that.

With any luck major changes will happen when RainFurrest wrangles this train wreck back into the depot and sorts out the working parts from the scrap.

I look forward to going next year despite the work of some puffed up ego's doing their damnedest to give me reasons not to.

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Actually, since the University is a non-profit, it could be argued that the $4,000 location fee was paid to a "charity."

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What is it with the public? Sex happens now and again on the planet. When were the people in the public hatched? Were they hatched fully clothed in a man made tuxedo jacket, black shiny shoes with black socks and black trousers, with a white shirt having black bow tie attached to it? Sheaths, testicles, tits and penises are as natural as the air we breathe. People need to be in their right mind regarding that and the occasional sight of sex. People,.... get a grip.

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Since a comment has necromanced the topic of Furlandia I'll update that Furlandia has had a second year which was ultimately successful, at least from a PR stand point. I wasn't at the convention itself but I didn't recall seeing anything disheartening about it on Twitter.

Hopefully the con continues to improve and prosper for the furs of Oregon.

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I'm amazed that in 20 years, so little has changed.
Well, now it's a website and no longer in a NNTP mailbag.
But that's it in regards to changes.
The fandom and it's notable events and discussions are almost fractal in their reoccurence over time.

Sonious: Thank you for updating the info regarding Furlandia

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People rejected Jesus who was God with blood in him. Being rejected in God's eyes is not a bad thing. I would however like the public to accept all that the furries accept having the public unified with what the furries are not ashamed of. That would bring peace. That would bring peace to the clothing optional people and the varying sexuality names as well.

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It went fine. It was small and seemed to vanish in the hotel space but I imagine within a year or two it will be something that people will actually want to travel to attend, so it shows promise. The ego characters of the previous year were present but things still seemed to go okay. The dealers room was probably the most interesting event happening and it's hours being extended a few times gave people a chance to wander in and out and the artists some time to chat and hang out. There were more fursuits than one might have expected so that was a pleasant surprise. It's worth going to if you're local, and the more people that show up the more the original ego's will be diluted into the crowd.

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I'm curious, did the Mtv tape ever air? And if so, how did it go? This is actually the first I'd heard of Mtv appearing at another convention, though to be honest I haven't watched Mtv in years, so just wondering what came of it.

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Freak Lynx,
No, it wasn't released; As Alex says in comment #3 and #134, the higher-ups in the production company decided to go in a different direction, so that footage won't be seeing the light of day.

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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