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This Is Life presented Furries as a wholesome coping mechanism, and that's fine

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (16 votes)

Journalist Lisa Ling sits on a bed, surrounded by fursuit heads.Our fandom had been waiting for a Sunday night to watch CNN, a moment of truth.

A year earlier, Anthro Northwest sprung a surprise documentary film crew onto its attendees. It immediately caused an uproar online. There was much debate and drama around it, and then things were silent.

The film crew belonged to Lisa Ling and her new flagship show for CNN, This is Life with Lisa Ling. An episodic documentary program to highlight some of the oddities in our humble society. I, like many furs I'm sure, had never heard of the show nor seen it. It felt like we were in for another nasty media portrayal.

Closer to the airdate, we discovered that our subculture was going to be the show's season finale. Pressure's on, right?

(For the next section of this opinion piece, I'm going to do my own take on the show. Feel free to skip to the bottom for my closing comments and perceptions of the show's impact. As always, feedback and discussion is welcomed in the replies!)

Sunday November 18th arrived. The clock struck whatever time the show aired in your time zone, and we were off to the races.

The first few seconds showed us the three primary furries we'd be focusing on. In all honesty, with those first few seconds, I genuinely thought I had put on the wrong show. I was expecting fursuits on camera immediately, to grip the viewers! What's all this weirdness?!

But no, the show began on a somber and relatable note, hearing about the lives of these people before actually telling the audience that they were furries, and that this was an episode about furries.

Ok CNN, now I'm interested - you seem to be playing it cool so far, let's see how this goes.

Leilia interacting with a child at a charity event.We first meet Leilia Spaniel (I'm not sure if I want to use their real names online). We learn of her very human social anxiety, and hear firsthand how this affects her life.

The lead-in is very slow and well-paced. We see glimpses of real animals, then realistic animal art, then cartoon animals, and finally we're graced with our first close look at a fursuit. We see her suiting up with the help of her husband, and just like that, her anxiety is gone.

The camera crew follows Leilia to an event at a local park with some kids, and we see just how much this fursuit does for her and her anxiety. Even her husband remarks that he "forgets his wife is in there sometimes". This is the first person, the first furry, in the show so far. We understand this person's flaws, and watch the problems slip away when the suit comes on. It's a great start, and I'm eager to see where it goes next.

Captain Boones, riding an escalator.Next we meet Captain Boones. A military fur, like so many of our American friends, who lives as a self-proclaimed hermit. We learn of his struggles with PTSD from various campaigns while serving his country. This is a difficult thing for me to properly describe here... I suggest you watch the episode to fully understand. I did cry during this segment.

Not to stereotype the gentleman, but he has quite a flair for theater! Even constructing props for local shows, as well as his own suit head! A dashing dreadlock-rocking lion, with a very suave accent and personality. In this part of the show, the audience learns of one of the defining traits of our fandom, crafting a character. A bit later we learn that this is "who he wants to be", and hopefully one day Captain Boones won't be needed for him to truly come out of his shell.

It's at this point I think about the episode's two portrayals, concerning social anxiety and PTSD. CNN could be playing a sympathetic angle, and there are certainly a large chunk of furs that deal with these issues; I certainly do. I'll continue viewing this objectively. So far so good.

The last of our three fans to be spotlighted is Ashaeda, of Weasels on Easels. We get told of her background, learning that an immune disorder ended her high-endurance lifestyle. And how her partner (also a furry, courtesy of Ashaeda herself) has been by her side through all the difficulties that go along with such an illness.

As an artist and fursuit maker, we see a different side of the fandom through her. Now there's a focus on all the creativity that goes into making an entire species, which wasn't touched on as much with the previous two people interviewed. Actually, we don't get to hear much about the art itself, like its process or the business side, but we get to see her working on her trade.

Ashaeda with her boyfriend, both in fursuit.

Now we head to a convention, the inaugural year of Anthro Northwest! Many montages of frolicking fursuits grace our television sets in seconds, before we get our next interview. A considerably shorter segment than the first three received, but important all the same. Lisa Ling interviews Telephone.

The audience learns more about the performance side of the fandom, and we hear it again, "It helps me". And you know what? It does! It helps a lot of people. Doing things in costume because it makes you and other people happy is the joyous core for many fursuiters, including Telephone. It's a very valid reason to be in this fandom.

At this point in the episode, Lisa starts to bring up the dark side of the fandom , the sex stuff. She pokes Uncle Kage a bit about it, and asks a few others, although it was also mentioned earlier in the episode. Once briefy with Leilia, and for a moment with Ashaeda, asking if they "do it" in suit. The topic is quickly dropped when she answers no. I have a feeling this was more of a box to check off, than an actual die-hard point Lisa was wanting to push. It's very brief, and easily forgotten. Which is good.

The show winds to an end, with barely a mention of the con itself, or of what happens there. We see one panel run by Captain Boones, and another panel with younger furs that moves Leilia to tears. I wish I'd found the fandom when I was younger too, Leilia. This moment probably hit harder for us furs than for outsiders watching.

We see Lisa Ling dancing in a tiger fursuit (my mom believes she bought the suit, but I know some people with 15 suits so I'm gonna assume she borrowed it) - and the episode ends.

Then Twitter exploded. (As it does)

A large group of fursuiters at Anthro Northwest 2017.

Generally the response has been positive. A wholesome portrayal of the fandom as a way for people with social and psychological disorders to take a break from their lives and run around as an animal for a bit. Furs have been praising the positive tone of the episode, and Lisa's understanding approach. If the last seconds of the episode were anything to go by, we may see her at a con in the future (or not). She seemed to be having fun there at the end in suit. Wishful thinking.

But there has been push-back. Some have called the episode out for neglecting furs of color or LGBT furs. While this is a valid complaint, I believe the benefit of the doubt should be given to CNN on this. It's an hour-long show (and good god were there a lot of commercials, cable, amiright?), and the primary focus was to describe how the fandom is an open door for people to come and be themselves, with three people as examples. It makes understanding furry accessible to people outside our fandom's core demographic (how many furs avidly watch This Is Life with Lisa Ling?). We're a niche culture, but we have human roots. Our fellow furs have hardships that anyone can relate to, and playing this angle was probably a safer approach than making the show into a statement on larger issues being debated in the United States. The focus was on furries.

Of course there's a question to be raised about who CNN was given permission to interview in the first place. It's likely that people who identify as LGBT may not have been as comfortable being this open on television. I certainly would've been hesitant, but I think that a passing mention - or even a goddamn rainbow flag somewhere - would've been great. And that may be the biggest issue with this documentary.

And of course they focussed on fursuits. Yeah, that's kinda old news and expected at this point.

I'm a fur of color, I identify as LGBT, and I've been blocked by a friend for saying these things. But really, as a whole, what the show did was positive. As a fandom we're fantastic at being welcoming. And if this is a place for people who've been through the worst a human being can go through, we're there for them. Furries haven't had this glowing of a media treatment in our entire existence arguably. We even had two furry-made documentaries on us, so we've had our chance to craft a narrative. Now it was CNN's turn, and they didn't take cheap shots: They heard us out, they talked to us.

This was not a take-down. It was an invitation.

Nothing's perfect, and calling out these oversights is valid, so let's praise what it got right! Cause really, it got so much right.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Lisa Ling in a tiger fursuit, dancing with other fursuiters.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (7 votes)

Interesting the point about the furs of color, especially when the two furries making the biggest mainstream (or at least outside the fandom) appearances are SonicFox and Bucktown Tiger.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (9 votes)

I'm surprised neither got a mention. Though, if the scope of the show was ANW and people who volunteered to be filmed, perhaps they missed those key furry figures by not having "furry" in their news alert keywords around filming time :/

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

To be fair, Bucktown Tiger's run may have come after the primary filming, and in SonicFox's case, it would be hard to juggle trying to explain eSports while you're trying to explain furry, at least to what I assume is the target audience.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

There's lots of other furs that didn't get a mention but their criteria was not about who was the most famous or the biggest name.

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

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (8 votes)

Talking about racial issues or LGBT issues in the episode is one thing, but I don't think "it's only an hour-long episode for normal people!" is a very good excuse(?? if it needs one) that the show only interviewed white people. "Whoops, we didn't even think about it" is a more sympathetic, believable defense. Or, "only white people responded to the casting call/equivalent".

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Also to be clear I did not watch this.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (10 votes)

In all honesty I can totally see it being an oversight. An unfortunate one but definitely (hopefully) one that wasn't on purpose. It shouldn't be excused and like I said, calling it out is good.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (11 votes)

My take on the PoC and LGBT representation complaint is going to be a bit spicy, so buckle up.

I believe that this complaint is actually a quasi-compliment.

Why?

Because PoC and LGBT representation in documentaries and coverage of furries issue has always been a thing. Even our own Fursonas had one gay couple and a guy who works on dildos, sure, but no people of color at all that I recall.

So then the question is, why complain that Lisa's show doesn't have them and not criticize earlier produced content that had the same issue?

Because Lisa Ling made a show that PoC and LGBT people actually were disappointed that no one like them was in it. Which means that she accomplished what no other content creator had before and make a space comfortable enough where PoC and LGBT people want to be a part of the situation.

So congrats Lisa on at least at least progressing the criticism so people can complain about diversity instead of the baseline representation. I think because of this, this is a step forward.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

For once I kinda think you made a point. Furries don't grasp, care or talk about issues of race, ethnicity and culture nearly enough. And when they do, they often fuck up pretty bad (or are just pretty obviously racist in a way that's infuriatingly self-unaware). If the furry fandom is going to become this somewhat normalized subculture that just gets increasingly absorbed by the broader geek/pop culture, it's going to force those conversations onto furries who normally would've only had their own echo-chamber. I do think it's still a bit overly optimistic to assume the furry fandom will last long enough to get to that place though. The rest of society also has to change and who knows how long that will take before furries kinda just fizzle out and something else takes the space that furries used to occupy.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

What are you talking about? The fandom will never be "normalized", sex is too much a part of it for that to ever happen. We will always niche.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (5 votes)

As we all know, normal people don't have or talk about sex.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

They tend not to commission porn depicting them with their significant others and post it on their social media, either.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

They also aren't generally focusing their life on making and exhibiting babies, the ultimate fuck trophy

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

No, because they just post real photographs on their social media.

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

Not usually during copulation or with their kinks on full display.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

You'd be surprised.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

This fandom has a sex positive atmosphere. That's always going to keep us from going mainstream for better or worse. For us the sexual aspects are a feature, not a bug. We don't try to shun it or claim that those that like it are "freaks". Unless society changes its attitude about sex we will always be niche.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (7 votes)

Be careful if you think the whole furry fandom is open about sex. I once openly expressed myself being more likely to prefer "plush" for some anthropomorphic four legged characters, and part of this website attacked me for it and acted like I'm different than those who likes ugly sh*t from that one dragon site.

Society in general is probably even worse. Fursuiting, even without sex is likely still gonna be considered "weird" like it's a bad thing. Hell, if you go in and say that there are more than two genders then mainstream media likely panics more than panicking over an earthquake resulting in over 30 deaths. One thing I think is very likely true though is if society decided to change their ways to become accepting to all harmless and non-threatening sides of the fandom, then furry in general might become mainstream.

Though if we have furry accepting groups right now, I think they need to be open and accepting to those who do have consensual legal sex in such costumes. It's possible even some of those groups can criticize the way society thinks by suggesting how dumb it was to freak out over the idea of fursuit and sex.

And I think certain furry groups really need to stop trying to "be accepted" if they are gonna keep excluding those who are actually part of the fandom. Especially with flat out lies saying "furries don't have sex in costumes" (because that's claiming every fursuiter doesn't). Not only this is insulting, but might make some part of our main society be surprised that there are people, probably a lot of people who are sexual about some anthropomorphic characters.

Note: I'm not the one who rated your comment one star. Worry you might think that.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Diamond Man, I promise that nobody here dislikes you for being a plushophile or thinks that is immoral.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

I honestly hate the term "plushophile" considering it's like saying someone has a "condomphilia" or a "virbratorphilia" for using it. Only time it sort of makes sense is if one prefers a plush precisely because it's a plush rather than using it because it feels closer to some creature that isn't safely and non-threatening. Not that it's wrong automatically though. And fursuit sex is no more extreme or less extreme.

If anyone were the one low rating my comment because they think being a "plushophile" is wrong, then thanks for proving my original top paragraph point in the comment replying to TyphonDog.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Woah, too much information.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

You might have said that before when I assume you were discriminating me for being a type of furry and acting like fictional dildos and vagina parts were fine but not "plushies" or something close.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

I just don't have any need or desire to know about your solo activities sir! Non-threatening or otherwise

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Nor do I need a desire for you to say the full name of that dragon site and I do not desire to see your fursona.

I don't give a crap if you do not desire it. I believe it's free speech: I'm allowed to express myself legally on here I believe by the First Amendment and I'm not gonna censor myself because you don't agree with it. It's free speech on here as long as the law, the site owner, and his internet provider allows it maybe.
Too much information? I say the same thing to you for your personal expression on your Flayrah profile.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Your rating: None Average: 2 (4 votes)

*sees beer* and *looks in window a minute later*

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Bro...what

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (3 votes)

I should be saying that to the picture you shared.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Well I mean excluding those who are part of the fandom for harmless and non-threatening things.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Let me make another point but as a reply to my comment without trying to reply directly to anyone else:
If the "furry fandom" tries to get rid of "part identity", "sexuality", "fursuits", and "fursonas", in order to become mainstream, then the furry fandom will officially mainly be ruined. Period.

Considering furry fandom being "special" like all those four things, especially " part identity" is what made it so mainly interesting. If we turn it into a souless direction by turning it into a basic sci-fi main fandom like how there is mainly a basic main fandom for Futurama, it would then be ruined mostly, and probably a lot smaller too and more people would suffer since at least one of these four things is part of what made them find many anthropomorphic characters interesting.
If many furries are gonna be more lost and less accepted, then we should maybe we should stop using the label "furry" then.
Furry sexuality, furry identity, fursona, and fursuit are not required to be a furry, but it's a huge part of the "fandom" and is what made so many people express the love of many anthropomorphic animals.

At this point, it's "better" to not become mainstream and that it's better to grow on it's own as a separate community and fandom mainly. Going "mainstream" at this time would be terrible.

Also not saying the main fandom of Futurama is souless, and that fandom is already mainly fine on it's own. Furry is not meant to be like that though.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (6 votes)

You know how some of us furries cope with, and rid ourselves of this self-loathing bullshit you're engaging in right now? We gave up on this whole "we" business. We stopped making being a furry such a vital part of our identity that we practically see it as our nationality and assuming that whatever applies to the group must also applies to us. And we make it a point to distance ourselves from anything that sketches us out. We'll define ourselves just as much by what we're not as what we are. So even my use of the word "we" here is ironic because "we" are really just a bunch of i's an me's.

Maybe your idea of furry will always be niche, neglected and somewhat disdained but did it ever occur to you maybe there's a good reason for that, and not just because of outdated views on sexuality?

Those are changing, and pretty fast in some circles. Fast enough that I don't feel entirely alone in the world anymore, at least not just for being a furry, having some kinks, and not always conforming to ideals of toxic masculinity.

On the other hand, I come from a country that legalized gay marriage a good decade and some before the US did and also legalized pot so just for living where I do I get to feel like slightly less of a buttmonkey than I probably should.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

But furry is a strong identity for many, and it certainly is bad to get rid of anything that is not bad itself in furry (e.g. harmless and non-threatening identity) in favors of some stupid views from something worse than cancer known as main society.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

I guess maybe I just can't relate. I mean, I used to be pretty heavy in the therian community, and on a certain level, I still identify with certain aspects of it. My fursona began as an attempt to depict and live vicariously through a sort of spiritual self-image, as it is with a lot of therians who crossed over. I'm not a fursuiter, but I'd like to have something similar to a fursuit, just it'd be a bit different because it'd be more like a mask with an attached wig and maybe a kind of bodysuit with a tail. So yeah, I identify with these things. Yet an identity should be more than this. And it should be more than who you bone and how you bone them. But if you're trying to defend shit that's truly reprehensible, which the rule of thumb is anything that violates those who can't give well-informed consent, it being an intrinsic part of your identity doesn't grant you immunity from scorn and judgment.

The cold hard truth is none of us are above scrutiny, and that's why I'm incredibly selective about who I share most of my fantasies with even though they're completely outside the realm of things like cub, zoo, etc, just because I don't want to deal with other people trying to psychoanalyze me and argue me out of my ways. But my kinks would probably be part of my identity too, wouldn't they?

Perhaps the point I'm trying to get at is your identity as both a furry and a person has less to do with the particulars of fashion and fetish than the shit you bring on yourself out of twisted ideals and your need to be accepted by as many people possible. At some point you just have to ask yourself, is the cost of your war with the rest of the world worth it?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I think furry in some way is basically an identity in some people just as much as being homosexual (but it might be different in some other way) because for example, the way I'm a furry is the same set that causes me to think mainly different and have many different preferences. I say this as in, it's a huge part of a main identity. Full identity is probably just "human with a set of personalities" and if you mean that then oh, but it still doesn't change how important furry is as a huge part of someone and sometimes I might mean that by "furry identity".
As for things that are wrong, I do not consider "act" an identity though, and if a "bad identity" itself, then I hope that person doesn't go out and does something bad.

For last part:
Certain fetishes are a huge part of a sexual identity, and it's part of how I became furry and my fantasy and "fetish" is what made me really happy with some furry expression. Yes, I do consider that part of my identity. It's not furry itself, but it might have lead me to it which in one direction is the "same" as being furry.
I don't think what I personally prefer is "twisted" and "shit", and because my fetish is a huge part of development, and if harmless and non-threatening, I think it's just as important as being homosexual or close enough.
And I don't want to be "separated" in a group being accepting of those into harmless and non-threatening stuff.

Anyway, if we decide to make furry as boring as possible, it would just be ruined mostly.
Furry is a main identity for many and separating a lot of that is probably just bad.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (4 votes)

It's morbidly curious that you're simultaneously melting down about child molesters facing consequences on another thread, and rambling about your fetishes on this one

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

"Self loathing bullshit"? What are you even talking about? So we're niche. There's nothing wrong with that. Yes we're now more accepted then ever before. FFS we got one of the best e-sports players in the world in our corner. But that's doesn't mean we will ever gain mainstream acceptance. That's not a bad thing either IMO.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

You don't get what I'm saying. Having the current top-ranked professional gamer in the world happen to be a furry, okay, that's pretty neat. It's a feather in the fandom's cap, sure. But it's a pretty small one. It's not as significant as, say, having one of the most publicly visible astrophysicists in the world happen to be black. And if Neil Degrass Tyson's achievements are one day eclipsed by someone who happens to be furry, awesome. But that person being a furry will be a distant second to their actual accomplishments, if it even ranks. We might never even know they're a furry.

And I'm not saying it's inevitable that furry will become mainstream. Really what I'm saying is, the way furry came about largely by co-opting things that were both mainstream and niche and turning it into a subculture, the mainstream can just as easily co-opt those same things we think are intrinsic to the fandom. But the way it does with everything else, it'll do it very selectively in a kind of "melting pot" fashion.

A lot of movements and subcultures really only last a generation or two before this happens, or before they kinda wither away or transform into something else. The therians, for example. I first took an interest in them around 1997, 1998, probably spent a good few years with the various message boards, chat rooms, and homepages trying (and mostly failing) to define Therianthropy as a legitimate spirituality before ever even hearing the word "Otherkin". And then those two concepts kinda merged and Otherkin largely absorbed and replaced Therianthropy. I don't even recognize what's left of "the community" anymore.

What I do recognize though, is the internet, and that communities who heavily depend on it for their existence and identity are inherently subject (by which I mostly mean victim) to its whims, its tweaks, its sweeping, wholesale changes. I feel like at this point I've probably written too much about all this shit to go into more detail except to say that, like with therians and otherkin, the furry fandom has already changed a lot since I first delved into it and these changes seemed to coincide with how the internet as a medium changed more than because furries as a whole (or even as individuals) decided to change. And in the interests of giving the original subject a nod and a glance, I think I should also point out that a furry identity is something you choose more than something that's thrust onto you because of your birth.

TL;DR put the fandom, and your own life, into perspective FFS.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Furry as a fandom was practically born on the Internet. It has changed and evolved over the past 30 years. But its core identity has and always will be anthropomorphic animals. Otherwise it wouldn't be furry.

You seem to be really hung up on furry as a lifestyle, which is ironic because that element is a more recent development.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Man, get the fuck out.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Just to elaborate, because reading Sonious' reply reminded me that some of y'all well, er, let's just say you have a funny way of reading things...

I was mainly talking about the internet-side of things, hence my numerous references to old defunct mediums that, duh, existed only the internet. I can barely say a word about the "lifestyle" aspect with much confidence because I just haven't experienced much of it.

However, I definitely can see how the way the internet has changed has also had some changes on the lifestyle (and by lifestyle, again, I'm keeping my definition about as simple as I can so for my purposes, "lifestyle" just means furry interactions in the meatspace) though they're probably very subtle for most. I think the main reason I perceive as big a change as I do is because of how long I've been in the online fandom, and almost exclusively at that.

I'm not gonna lie, I still feel a sense of loss over the death of forums, chat-rooms, and just the old-web in general, but especially as a furry. It feels almost like the old fandom went away. Objectively, I know the only major difference is that people moved on to different platforms with different ways of communicating. It's just that I'm hesitant about a lot of these things like Twitter and Tumblr (well I guess Tumblr is a non-issue now) because I feel they've really had a cheapening and shallowing effect on our online interactions. It's like the expression "you can't go home again", starting out in one kind of online fandom, leaving for a while, and coming back to find everything's changed and everyone you knew is gone, and you find it hard to relate to these new furries on these new platforms.

So trust me, I know it's still primarily on online fandom. Personally, I've always been ambivalent at best about calling it a "lifestyle", again, because I've never truly known it as that.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I'm wondering if you have looked at recent news about Mr. Tyson?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I have, but not sure what that has to do with anything. But I am pretty sure the allegations are mostly bullshit. Until something new and substantial comes out, you can put me pretty firmly in the camp that thinks this isn't even a #metoo moment as much as someone trying to create another Bill Cosby where none exists.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

...Uh, future reference, if you use an example don't use one that was found guilty of the act in a court.

I mean Bill Cosby wasn't created, he uh, actually was found guilty of those things.

Obviously, I'll wait it out a bit, but I think the fandom is doing alright, even if we don't have a celebrity astrophysicist.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

By creating another Bill Cosby, I mean the way they're trying really damn hard to make the case in the court of public opinion that NDT is a creep at best and a rapist at worst well before there's anything except one incredibly unreliable narrator on the rape allegation and two women really, and I mean really reaching for the bottom of the barrel for the absolute bare-minimum standard of what constitutes sexual assault/harassment. And I make the comparison to Cosby because I think it's a pretty good chance NDT being black is at least part of the reason some are rushing to judgment. Christ, I think it might be part of the reason these allegations were made in the first place. The difference being that Cosby's accusers were a lot more convincing in their allegations from the start, and that he turned out to be more guilty than anyone imagined.

For someone who writes as much as you do and makes as many YouTube videos as you do that are basically all just talking you sure don't grasp subtlety or colloquialism sometimes.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Bill Cosby was sentenced in a court of law, not a court of public opinion 2 months ago:

https://pagesix.com/2018/09/25/bill-cosby-sentenced-to-prison-for-sexual-assault/

So, that's why I'm wondering why you're trying to say Tyson falls under this category if you think he's innocent.

I mean you can believe Cosby is innocent even if he was found guilty in court. But you can't go around saying it was "just public opinion man". It was an opinion of a jury in the court of law.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

LOL OMG HOLY SHIT WAIT WHAT no what the fuck are you seriously even

Bud, bear with me. Just pull your ears out of your arse for a second.

I'm saying, there's a handful of people trying to BUILD NDT UP TO BE a Bill Cosby figure, whether he's guilty OR innocent. Trying to derail his career and/or selfishly gain from the publicity generated by accusing a famous black man of a crime, especially a sex-crime. And I admit, I don't know if him being black factors into any of the motives of any of the people involved, I just suspect a possibility for reasons I hope are obvious to you (because we're a pretty racist little hemisphere.)

When Cosby's accusers and their stories started multiplying, before that, there were a lot of people saying about him what I'm saying about NDT now, more or less. Some of those people were defending him out of loyalty to what he represents, others because they were keenly aware of the white man's (and media's) fixation on the mythic black brute, a natural serial rapist, especially of white women, and wanted to be "on the right side of history" in having seen him through to his inevitable vindication. Unfortunately, I think some have gone too far in the other direction in equal parts out of pure shock and difficulty putting Cosby into perspective. Yes, he violated a good 30 or so women, but that's not equal to 30 black men raping one woman each. It's not as if their motives or their morals have been proven invalid and the stereotype proven to have "a grain of truth". But because the way our culture (and again, the media) works, it's probably hard for some not to feel like the reasoned approach as lost ground.

So then you get the folks at TYT as well as opinion columnists really straining to see flaws in Neil's thinking and statements. And there's certainly valid criticism even assuming his own accounts of those events are 100% accurate. But I'm a little more inclined to reserved judgment (for now) because his defense makes him look bad, in a way that's normally bad for guys of his time/personality, not bad like sexual-harassment bad, and definitely not rapist bad. He just doesn't sound like he's lying. And he doesn't sound like someone who needs to lose their job and face possible criminal charges. But people are essentially saying that or stopping just short of it because like Cosby's initial defenders, they want to be on the right side of history when someone who looks problematic is revealed to be problematic and dealt with accordingly.

Both sides were jumping the gun. Oh, and for the record, I lost whatever love I might've once had for Bill Cosby when he started lashing out at the black community for wearing saggy pants and being bad fathers in his rambling screeds spewing from a broken mind. I knew there was something sketchy about him at that point and when the accusations came out, I wasn't all that surprised, strangely. So admittedly, despite the comparisons I was NEVER as secure in any notion of his innocence the way I am Tyson's.

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I think the furry fandom has a role in widening the Overton window

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There is no homogenous societal Overton window. The Overton window has a foundation in individual assessment of morality and is in different positions for different people.

If the goal of an organization is to stretch it into two different directions and force society to accept that new boundary, the organization's goal is conflict amongst the individuals. Basically stretching the glass until it cracks.

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With the still-lingering reputation problems and painful inability to have big breakout projects, I fear it's almost certainly what will happen.

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If events are projects, 10,000 at MFF is a pretty good accomplishment, no? It's not Comic Con, and I'm glad it's not... But look at cons putting a million+ of gear into show production, multiple millions of fake fur in their money shots, millions of tourism spending. That seems big.

If you wanna talk about fandom being a main base for indie movies, games, publishing etc breakouts, yeah I agree there could be a lot more as-yet untapped potential for that too.

The fizzling thing though, that's been predicted since before there was a fandom. It's such a broad genre that maps to anything and the "problematic" (is it a bug or a feature) touchy stuff I think will always make a tug-of-war demand and insulation effect that keeps it around, even if it hits some plateau.

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If nothing else, this show finally revealed Telephone's human face.

Not enough LGBT representation? A valid point. But then again, not enough furry comics pass the Bechdel Test, so if you want to start worrying about 'woke points' there's that too.

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That wasn't Telephone's face; that was a professional fursuiter playing Telephone on a closed course. Do not attempt!

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I simply adore the "coping mechanism" explanation for liking things. "Well you see, if you were a more balanced and properly adjusted person, you would not like this thing. You would be 'normal'."

Well, I'll be...

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Yes, it's incredibly condescending. Not that "coping mechanism" is entirely invalid, it's just shitloads of things are part of a person's broader coping mechanism. But no one calls someone maladjusted for obsessively collecting stamps. Unless a show like Criminal Minds or a series of reality shows starts creating a kind of moral panic around stamp-collecting serial killers or something. I think people need to learn to think like "er, sorry, who you talking about again?" when others try to explain them for them. They gotta learn what certain buzzwords mean and then learn to firmly reject the wrong labels. "Oh, you're an artist, it must be because you're AN INTROVERT". Like, sorry, who the fuck you talking about? I have shitloads of friends, we hang out all the time, and it actually gets in the way of being an artist sometimes. How the hell do I fit the stereotype then? But people just ALLOW themselves to be labelled for some stupid reason.

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At this point in the episode, Lisa starts to bring up the dark side of the fandom , the sex stuff. She pokes Uncle Kage a bit about it, and asks a few others, although it was also mentioned earlier in the episode. Once briefy with Leilia, and for a moment with Ashaeda, asking if they "do it" in suit. The topic is quickly dropped when she answers no. I have a feeling this was more of a box to check off, than an actual die-hard point Lisa was wanting to push. It's very brief, and easily forgotten. Which is good.

It's 2018 and almost 2019, when are people gonna realize that sex in the fandom exists and shouldn't be considered an actual problem on itself?
It's not good to forget about those as if they are bad people just because some have legal and safe sex in fursuits. I hate when these type of assholes try to claim all loving and coping, but then act like those who are into that kind of stuff are "bad" and are excluded. Hypocrite!

If I was her, I would probably say "Some people do, but so what? As long as they aren't hurting anyone, fursuit outside of sex with safe and legal sex history is no different than of that with no history of safe and legal sex. They are people like us, so it's pretty stupid to worry that those people will do harmless and non-threatening things in private."
Jesus! Got to love being a fucking outcast just because my "sex and sexuality" is the sole reason why I love being a furry.

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"Got to love being a fucking outcast just because my "sex and sexuality" is the sole reason why I love being a furry."
Really? Because your running around saying that human-on-human sexuality is disgusting, openly flaunting your desire to be raped by wolf gods from space, and your propensity for defending pedophiles is what makes most furries HATE you. When you're not welcome among some of the most open-hearted people you can hope to find, you're doing something wrong.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Then those furries are strongly terrible people and it would be so damn clear that the furry fandom is an irrational soc__lism propaganda then.

There is nothing fucking wrong with having that wolf god sexuality preference, and there is nothing wrong with a "pedophile" getting a second chance in life to stay a legal life while getting any necessary legal help to be less of a pedophile.

You can't claim that the furry fandom is the "most open-hearted" when they, and if true, are perfectly fine with discriminating against harmless and non-threatening personality. If you dare say you're the "most open-hearted" minded person, then go out and attack me because I prefer a harmless sexual fantasy and/or believing in human rights for criminals, then guess what? You're a hypocrite.

By the way, I say human romance is gross because they find my thing gross and act like their personal opinion is fact when it's not. What I might say directly to it might be hypocritical, but I only express my disgust as an attempt to prove a point.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (10 votes)

I just watched the episode myself and read this article. Now I want to put my thoughts out before reading the comments.

It wasn't a bad portrayal, it was certainly positive. But I was not entirely happy with it and what it could've done. I get they need a hook and want to show how the furry fandom helps people but the way they do it is misleading. The way it is presented, even with some of the comments by the subjects, gives the impression that the furry fandom is just collecting a bunch of damaged individuals which is not the case. They make a huge thing about anxiety but there isn't any evidence that furs are more likely to suffer anxiety than the general public.
https://furscience.com/research-findings/wellness-dysfunction/11-2-psych...
I would've liked to have seen just normal furs.

The other thing I wasn't a big fan of was the treatment of sex. They didn't make it about sex which is a huge improvement over some other media treatments but the way they approached sex made it seem like sex was a negative thing. It wasn't very sex positive and I think that perpetuates negative views beyond the furry fandom.

Similar to the mental health issue, the participants weren't a great reflection of the fandom as a whole. All of them had a fursuit. That is not the case for most furs. The furry fandom is not just about fursuiting but nearly all the emphasis on the show was either about fursuiting or the furry fandom as a coping mechanism. There should've been more on art, more on stories and more on the enjoyment of the characters and less on fursuiting.

Some have called the episode out for neglecting furs of color or LGBT furs. While this is a valid complaint, I believe the benefit of the doubt should be given to CNN on this. It's an hour-long show (and good god were there a lot of commercials, cable, amiright?), and the primary focus was to describe how the fandom is an open door for people to come and be themselves, with three people as examples.

That's just ridiculous. (I realise its not necessarily your opinion.) Furs of colour or LGBT furs are just an extra thing. Like steampunk furs. That has nothing to do with the main aspects of the furry fandom. The furry fandom is not for people of a specific orientation or skin colour, it's for everyone. It's really annoying when people try to push that sort of thing onto a fandom which is about characters that mix human and animal traits. Also, there were a lot of commercials! It seemed like almost every five minutes. It's completely ridiculous.

"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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Stop pushing fallacies, steampunk is not comparable with LGBT. One is an identity and the other isn't. One is observably here more than regular society. Pushing false blindness and reductionism about it doesn't belong.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I apologize if my comments regarding sex being the "dark side" of the fandom were harsh. I am asexual, and so sex has never been a part of the fandom for me, though I understand it is for some within it. So my apologies to those people.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

You're not alone (at least in 2002). And now I'm wondering when introspective furry music album Dark Side of the Fur will come out.

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About the author

CassidyTheCivet (Cassidy Civet)read storiescontact (login required)

a musician and Malay Civet from Vancouver, interested in music and art!

I'm a female civet! Always down for a good time, but never a cup of coffee. ;3
I am a musician and artist, as I say, a born musician and a living artist!

Cons Attended:
VancouFur 2016/2017/2018
Howloween 2016/2017/2018
Fur-Eh 2017/2018