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Interview: 'Fursonas' documentary director Dominic Rodriguez (Video the Wolf)

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (12 votes)
Dominic Rodriguez' fursona
Dominic's fursona, Video the Wolf. Art by Roro.

Joe Strike: Is Fursonas about lifestyler furries?

Dominic Rodriguez: Kind of. People get concerned when they see there are so many fursuiters in it, because not all furries are fursuiters.

I wanted to talk to people who are passionate. That was a good line to draw: if you’re going to go so far as to make or buy a costume, you’re passionate about furry. When I asked the people in the film if you consider furry a lifestyle, half of them said no.

JS: Other than the badges of the furries interviewed, there’s no furry art in the film. Do you think you should’ve included some art?

DR: The thing I knew when I went into this is everybody has a different way of experiencing and appreciating furry. There’s no way to please everybody or to accurately do justice to everything unless the movie was six hours. I had to be selfish and focus on what really mattered to me which is furry as an identity and as a community. I love art and you can show footage of people drawing; but I wanted to do something different, something I cared about. I wasn’t going to spend four years on something I didn’t care about.

When people say furry isn’t a lifestyle I understand that, but when they say it’s just a hobby I think they’re almost giving it a disservice. There’s so much wrapped up in it, and I think people in it take it seriously. I don’t want people to think [the fandom is] just freaks obviously, but it was important people cared about what they were talking about.

JS: That’s what concerned me. The film seemed to be about people who either want to make the fandom fun or just a hobby vs. people who expressed their sexuality through it. It like an either/or situation. The couple [Chew Fox and Tom Cat] who were on The Tyra Banks Show seemed deliberately provocative, thumbing their noses and proud of upsetting a lot of furries.

DR: I don’t think they knew what they were getting into. I don’t think Chew Fox went into that show trying to upset people. From talking to Chew at length (and I consider her a friend) what matters to her and to Boomer [the furry who was mocked on Dr. Phil for wanting to be a dog] is expressing themselves and being real. That is what the documentary boils down to: “why are you doing this? Are you doing it for yourself, you want to express yourself, or are you doing it to be accepted into this community?”

Obviously there are a million shades of grey in-between, but that’s what mattered to Chew Fox. I don’t think for a minute she was trying to upset people, I just think she didn’t give a shit when she did, it was more important for her just to be her.
Fursonas
JS: When I tell people I’m a fur and I get that standard “you people dress up as animals and have sex,” I have to go out of my way and explain that’s a minority interest.

DR: What I want to do with Fursonas is get people to accept maybe what they wouldn’t otherwise, and I want to do it in a way that’s non-exploitative and I want to be humanistic about it.
I think if you throw around words like “that’s just a minority blah blah blah,” that’s a defensive attitude that steps on a lot of peoples’ identities, the people who are doing that are not allowed to be proud or express themselves.

JS: Uncle Kage [Anthrocon CEO Sam Conway] is in the film a great deal. I’ve been to one or two of his [how to deal with the] media panels. The first thing he tells people is don’t say things like “we don’t all have sex in animal costumes” to reporters—don’t lead with a defensive comment. At one point he says he accepts everyone [into the fandom] then elsewhere in your film he starts excluding people he feels don’t represent furry in its best light, but overall I think he’s very invested in trying to mainstream furry and I respect him for that.

DR: The movie is my take on the fandom. It’s not the authority on the fandom and I hope when people see the movie they understand it’s not [about] all furries, it’s about these furries.

I like the complexity of the community. I don’t know all the answers. Getting rid of one voice of authority and giving it back to individual people was very important to me. It was important to me to protest what [Kage] stands for. I understand where he’s coming from, that the betterment of community, how the community is viewed is the most important thing rather than the right to express yourself.

Boomer is the opposite. What’s most important to him is expressing himself even if it potentially makes the community look bad. My bias is that I personally believe attempts to squelch that individuality are not helping us. Everybody that has seen the movie and is not a furry adores Boomer because he’s unique and he’s passionate.

I think furries are so scared that if the wrong image gets out we’re going to be finished. I don’t think that’s true. It’s 2016; we’re having conversations about identity we’ve never had before. The world is changing and it’s not in the same place it was in the ‘90s when Kage started doing his panels.

JS: I have to say the first shot of Boomer standing up in his shredded newspaper dog costume made me uncomfortable. [I did not say this at the interview, but I would not have had that reaction if he was wearing a well-made fursuit instead.] You’re not making this film to be an ambassador to explain furry in all its glorious manifestations, you’re talking about people expressing themselves through furry; would that be correct?

Same person, different perspective: Dominic talks to fellow filmmakers about his transition from supposedly-objective observer to participant in Fursonas.

DR: Yes, that’s correct.

JS: That’s why I’m concerned.

This may be the only movie about furry that people are going to see, and they’re going to think “this is [the fandom].” At one point you cut from Boomer saying he’s not interested in adult art to Varka showing off his animal dildos [“I’m a cocksmith by trade”] and the artificial cum that can be pumped through them. That’s something else that made me uncomfortable, and again, I’m afraid people are going to judge the fandom by your movie; they’re not going to think these are unique individuals who are part of the fandom, they’re going to think this is the fandom.

DR: I have two responses to that: One, I think you should give people more credit. I made a movie for smart people, not dumb people. You have to be able to understand and keep up with what the ideas of the movie are. If you are following it, the movie is very clear it’s about community representation: the trouble in representing a community and embracing that problem instead of trying to ignore it. I think anybody who is willing to watch the movie with half a brain should be able to figure that out; I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out. I think you should give people a little more credit than watching the movie and thinking all furries are weird. In all of the screenings I’ve done that has not happened.

Two, I think the best criticism of the movie is to make another movie. I’m happy to have more people included in this conversation. I don’t want my voice to be the end-all and be-all. I tell every reporter I talk to, I say "you need to talk to more furries", they have to see this movie is a thin slice of what this community has to offer.

I don’t think that’s what my responsibility is. My responsibility to focus on what I want, and I don’t think it’s going to be bad for us. I think the world is ready for this movie whether furries realize it or not.

This is really important to me. I don’t want people to think I don’t care, and I’m just being a selfish asshole and focusing on controversial things just to sell tickets; I’m focusing on what I want to focus on, and I think it will help us. People like to see people for the complex creatures they are. That’s why I think it’s not going to hurt us as much as people think it is.

JS: Early in the film Boomer seems eccentric and kind of delusional about being a dog or trying to be a dog, but at the end of the film he suddenly becomes more eloquent and self-aware, and admits it’s just a form of self-expression. Was that a conscious choice how you structured the film?

DR: Yeah, I think there’s no way to introduce Boomer without a little bit of judgment. When you just see him, most peoples’ first reaction is judgment, “this looks like a crazy person.” I think when you go back and watch the movie again, there’s a sense of he’s pretty consistent, “this is what I like to do, this is who I am, this is my identity.” By the end you’ve spent enough time with him to understand, especially after all the craziness of people talking about representation and how complicated it is, it’s refreshing to return to Boomer. He’s just a guy who wants to be a dog. He knows exactly what’s going on and I think there’s something so beautiful and simple about that.

When I first saw him, I thought he was crazy; then the more I met him. the more I realized how much common sense he made. It was organic in how he evolved throughout the movie; it was just the way I perceived him.

JS: Can I ask what made you furry? Were you someone who was into anthropomorphics before you found the fandom, or did you discover furry and then decide to be part of it?

DR: I was into [anthropomorphics] since I was twelve or so, it was definitely the former. I felt a connection to this stuff, then I found art, and it was, “holy shit [other] people are into this!” As far as the social side, I didn’t start going to conventions until I started working on the movie, I got more into the fandom as I worked on the movie.

JS: Do you remember what first cultivated your interest in fur?

Read more on Flayrah: Fursonas is the film we need
On Dogpatch Press: Coverage and review links and comments by Dominic on its production and reception
Other non-furry reviews: Chicago Tribune - Variety
Pre-order Fursonas on iTunes (for release May 10)

DR: Porn. [Laughs] That’s why I’m not a good representation [of the fandom], right?
Definitely porn, then went more into art and everything like that, to be perfectly frank.

JS: So you would imagine naughty stuff about cartoon characters?

DR: Yes. [Laughs]

JS: You were looking online and stumbled across it; it was your “I’m not the only one!” moment?

DR: Yeah, the Internet. I think going through adolescence, that part of my life and then growing up with the Internet, was the recipe for finding furry, and a lot of other people had the same experience; it was really exciting to see how many others.

Dominic Rodriguez in real life. Photo by Nathan Inglesby. I hope people realize how much I do care about this community. I didn’t make this movie just to rile people up or make them mad. I love this community, I love it so much I want to talk about it and ask difficult questions, I want it to be the best it can be. That’s why I’m going to more conventions to show the movie and talk about it. I don’t even need people to like it, I just want them to know how I feel.

JS: One comment on Flayrah said furries are going to hate this movie, or maybe hate you.

DR: They meant furries who are worried about the film are going to hate me. I think most people who aren’t furries won’t—but if they already hate furries, this movie isn’t going to change their minds.

Joe Strike interviewed Fursonas director Dominic Rodriguez via telephone on April 29, 2016. ©

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (7 votes)

I don’t want people think I don’t care,

Well, then don't say things like this, dumbass.

I love art and you can show footage of people drawing; but I wanted to do something different, something I cared about. I wasn’t going to spend four years on something I didn’t care about.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Joe interviewed me over the phone. Sometimes typos happen when transcribing. Give us a break, dude.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

I didn't even notice it until you pointed it out.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

crossaffliction was contrasting your concern about people thinking you don't care, after apparently admitting you don't. But you say "care" five times in this piece, and the word has to be read in context:

  • In the first case you're talking about misrepresenting the fandom through presentation of extreme individuals.
  • In the second it's about whether you care enough about furry art to spend years of your life creating a documentary on it vs. one about the tension between public image and self-expression within a community.

Likewise, it helps to know that crossaffliction has had this whole "what use/interest is furry fandom?" thing going on since forever, so he's naturally opposed to any suggestion that his precious animated movies and comic books are perhaps not as interesting or important as metacommunity issues to some fans or members of the outside world. This is more evident below. :-)

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (6 votes)

To be totally honest, in the comment GR linked to, note the "Cassidy" I referred to crawled up my butt last year and was an early supporter of the documentary here, so she probably actually poisoned that well long before anything else.

Admittedly, my problem with the documentary (and this will probably set Patch off, but oh well) is partially that this "metacommunity" or whatever part of the whole furry thing isn't my cup of tea, but it's also partially that when you did get more into the "what furries do" over the "who furries are" aspects, you went right back to fursuits (like everyone before you, inside and outside of the fandom) and ignored pretty much everything else (like everyone before you, inside and outside the fandom).

It's not just that you didn't feature "scenes of people drawing;" it's that you did feature scenes of people fursuiting. Or, put another way, you featured one "furry art" to the exclusion of another. You may have went out of your way to feature Boomer's bizarre take on the fursuit, but at the end of the day, it's still just another fursuit. As far as I've heard, you didn't include his bizarre "photo-morph" artwork. Why not (unless he's stopped doing that, I guess)?

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Aren't you over me yet? Ugh. XP

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

I thought it was pretty logical to make a shredded paper Dog costume. My friend who is a Sheepdog, he made one long ago, for Halloween, and I'd always heard stories about it. His suit featured wider strips, scissors cut, which took a long time to do, but it was a paper costume with a full head.

Around the time I made my costume 'Papey', I'd seen a video of a girl who made a Dog suit from actual newspaper, and she walked in and kind of pounced her boyfriend from behind while he was on cam, and I thought that was humorous and cute, with her acting like a Dog, with a yappy voice.

MFF was coming up later that year and I decided to do a take on that idea with shredded bond paper. I'd made Dog masks for a long time from paper, like one that was thicker paperboard with a moving jaw with a hinge made out of paper fasteners and covered with cotton balls, when I was in junior high.

Yes, I still do Photomorphs! You must be remembering the Portal of Evil days when my site was featured as an Exhibit, and my art was exposed to them, I think Skippy was the first one posted. Sadly I don't have a site with them to show right now.

I'm still actively making Photomorphs and 'Dogfaces' though, I do them when I can and have done hundreds of them. There are something like 50 more iterations of Skippy since you might have seen him in the mid-2000s. I also got back into sketching and drawing more, as well as some CG painting, or sketching, scanning and then coloring it on screen.

I didn't get into image based art much with Dom, and don't know if I'd shown him the photomorphs or drawings right away. We just started with interviews, being a Dog and how it started, Furry, showing how Papey worked, and some filming at a park.

The movie is not devoid of art, a number of pieces are shown, I just don't think it had time for the mechanics of the creation, like someone drawing a piece, or sitting at their computer moving a mouse around. Likewise it doesn't show how fursuits or sex toys are made either, it's more in your face and asking questions.

Boomer

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Awesome, it's Boomer! You were great on camera. Seeing you do radio in the movie is another "it's not just fursuits" moment. How does your papersuit do with heat? And is it easy to replace worn parts instead of the usual fursuit cleaning effort?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Hi Patch! Radio is great, I could be a Dog on the air and listeners could take it as a character, they wouldn't have to know how serious I was about it. I built my first real station in the basement when I was in high school, and at least I know a few bus-mates heard it, AM radio with vacuum tube output power using the techniques of 1963. I'm very much into radio, the tech side as well as the programming.

Papey is great in the heat, cooler than a faux fur costume, because the paper is light and tends to breathe, even with so much of it. The paper is held on with hot glue, so normal heat won't make it shed any more than it normally sheds due to wear.

I can pull off old fur and add new paper layers easily. It's kind of scruffy right now, it needs an overhaul before I use it a lot more. I really try to keep it fresh by spraying in generic Fabreze, and have a couple of fans to blow air through the pieces, sometimes even for a couple of days. If it gets damp, the most that really happens is that it smells like wet paper.. :)

Papey isn't that huggable, I do get light hugs from some, but paper is kind of crinkly. It's not extremely bendable, so I can't be an acrobat in it or go on fours really well. My dream suit for that would be something like Barkley from Sesame St, made for four footed walking. A paper quad suit might be worth a try, I do like 4 leg suits, like George Ali's Nana character and others.

Thanks for the compliment, and I have one for you, I like how clean the layout is at Dogpatch Press, no extra tech that's not needed just to read something. I keep things simple at my site too.

Boomer

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Boomer, hello!, I'm curious. I have yet to see the movie, I'll do it very soon. I'd just like to make a question, if you allow me. Would you say you have species dysphoria? Do you relate your identity or feelings as a dog to theriantropy? Thank you for stopping by!

Also, *nuzzle lick* I guess, we're both dogs :P

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

For a long time I thought it could be called Lycanthropy, then got on line and found Weres and Furries, and amazingly others had similar ideas, and they were real, not just stories from Werewolf lore!

It's the feeling of somehow being a Dog or having a Dog inside, even if it seems to defy logic. I've felt maybe I should have been born a Dog, but the 'wires were crossed' somehow, so it has a ring of dysphoria to it I guess.

It could be from just loving other Dogs so very much, then seeing The Shaggy DA, where a dad turned into a Dog on the big screen, having crushes on Dog characters on TV, and just a feeling of seeing Dogs and wishing that was me, and I could just play in the park on four feet with them too. Lots of incidents in my life seem to point to being a Dog.

I always wanted to be on four feet, but not to lose the knowledge of what I had been. It might be more practical to have the same skeletal system as now, and just be anthro with Dog features. You can see my site at boomerthedog and then put 'net' after it, it barks more.

How about you, can you admit to feeling more Canine.. :) I do have another Retriever friend on line, a Golden.

I'm not sure how Fursonas is being released to different countries. Gravitas is the distributor, and it started with iTunes, but it's out there on other sites now too in video on demand. You can look up Fursonas on search and go to their official site.

Boomer

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Yes, I have very recently discovered that I feel some species dysphoria, and now I consider myself somewhat a dog (personality-wise), and a therian. It's something I'm still trying to fully comprehend about myself.

However, as of right now at least, it's something I don't want to mix too much with my interest in furry and my involvement in the furry fandom. It's like if I was a cinema lover and also a music lover: these two disciplines share common themes but still they're two different things.

As of this writing I have seen the movie and I'm typing the review, which will be published soon on FurryFandom.Es

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Cool, and in the movie it shows the non-anthro vision I have of myself as a Dog, Here's Boomer. My first ideas of myself as Canine were as a Dog on four feet, and hopefully I could talk, like the Dogs in movies! It was a lot of fun at first, then became more serious. Around the time I was starting in high school I came up with the idea of anthro Dogs and started thinking about them a lot and drawing them, after initially resisting the idea. I'm happy to bark that the anthros won over.. :)

I've had people tell me that my personality was Dog-like before, they can see the Dog in me. Just think about what you're feeling and the answers will come.

Nice site you're starting there at FurryFandom, and I especially liked the interview with Nuka. I'd heard of him, but never read anything in depth of his.

Yes, from the last post, I can be an affectionate pooch, so *hugs* the Retriever.. :)

Boomer

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Boomer, it's good to see you show up on this thread. Right off the bat I want to say I respect what you're doing; you're a lot braver presenting yourself to the world than I'm able to be. (Can I ask how you felt about how "Dr. Phil" depicted you? It made me angry to see him openly mock you, complete with "oh my God!" audience reaction shot edited in - and then say something along the lines of "we're not here to judge anyone".)

If I have mixed feelings about "Fursonas" it's because I look at media depictions of the fandom from the perspective of "if I tell people I'm a fur, how are they going to react, based on [whatever movie, TV show or magazine article] they've seen about us]?" and I'm afraid the movie is going to confirm negative preconceptions rather than expand peoples' understanding of the fandom.

That said, I don't think you or even Video has a "responsibility" to make the fandom look "good" or respectable, but to be as truthful as possible to your own perspective - and I'm sorry, but I have reservations about Video's perspective. (I don't think a couple of quick appearances by more sedate furs counterbalances several minutes of Varka displaying animal dildos and artificial cum.)

I'll be glad to be proven wrong and see "Fursonas" deepen people's understanding and appreciation of the fandom, so we'll see how that shakes out over time...have you ever seen "The New Yorker" cartoon of a dog at a computer telling another dog "on the internet no one knows you're a dog?" Nowadays it's just as accurate to say "on the internet no one knows you're not a dog."

- Joe

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Interestingly though they only interviewed those that had fursuits, most of the conversations occur sans suit. Which is a curiosity why they couldn't even have one without one, you know just to represent.

As far as Boomer's suit, I will admit: I did internally call it "The suit looks like an anthropomorphic monster borned from Richard Nixon's office after watergate."

But then he said that "I only expended $7 for this suit and just used stuff I had."

Considering that most Chimera suits that are made at conventions probably utilize more than that in materials, there are worse suits out there, made with more money.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Thanks for the clarification--I misunderstood.

Honestly though, I'm sure I've said plenty of things that contradict each other. Working on this project has made me continually ask myself a lot of questions about how I personally feel, and my attitudes have changed over time and continue to change depending on what time of the day it is, haha.

Not sure if the above instance was all that bad, but we should all keep our eyes peeled for future hypocrisy from yours truly.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (9 votes)

I have watch it when it come to Netflix, still what I am reading I am not impressed. Rodriguez: you are defiantly no Ken Burns. This documentary doesn't seem about the fandom and a narcissistic documentary about you.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (6 votes)

Ken Burns makes documentaries for dads to fall asleep to. Not really something I aspire to be, but to each their own.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

I think you are proving my point.

make me wonder if its about furriers or the Film festival circuit.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

There's a heterosexual furry couple, with a kid, featured in the movie. Very traditional. You'll like it.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (5 votes)

Yes but my point is it seem more about Video than the fandom.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

The movie didn't seem that way to me. What about the movie makes you say that?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

The fact that he hasn't seen it yet.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I just have seen the film on Hulu, and feel the same if not more negatively about he film.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Fine, but do you honestly still think it's a veiled autobiographical piece?

Your rating: None

More like the movie should be renamed Walking with Fursuiters. The POV seem to be more on Video.

I the question is were is Video the Wolf now? is he still involved with the fandom?

Your rating: None

Yes he is, I saw him at MFF this year in passing. Recognized him from the documentary.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

You have to be able to understand and keep up with what the ideas of the movie are.

Never tell your audience they are too stupid to understand your film.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

He's speaking only to a provocative interviewer, addressing their "straw" dumb person - the audience who supposedly can't tell the difference between the furries who work at Bad Dragon and all the rest of them.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

I got the impression he was talking down to furries won't "get" his film. As for the audience being too dumb well, are they going to even know what Bad Dragon? Furthermore he seems to be pushing the angle that lifestyle furries are the true ones. When a lot us are just people who happen to like anthropomorphic animals. He taking extreme examples of the fandom and calling it the norm. Not even touching on the art which is the most prevalent aspect of the fandom. It may not be the most glamorous or the most visual but sometimes reality is boring. This sounds more like something the mainstream media would put out and less like a serious documentry.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

I got the impression he was talking down to furries won't "get" his film.

No, he was answering that suggestion by the interviewer.

As for the audience being too dumb well, are they going to even know what Bad Dragon?

You can find out by watching a documentary. :)

Furthermore he seems to be pushing the angle that lifestyle furries are the true ones.

He explicitly says it isn't. "It's not the authority on the fandom and I hope when people see the movie they understand it's not [about] all furries, it's about these furries." You should see the movie before making up your mind, mainstream media wouldn't make one like it.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

He explicitly says it isn't. "It's not the authority on the fandom and I hope when people see the movie they understand it's not [about] all furries, it's about these furries." You should see the movie before making up your mind, mainstream media wouldn't make one like it.

He also said

"When people say furry isn’t a lifestyle I understand that, but when they say it’s just a hobby I think they’re almost giving it a disservice. There’s so much wrapped up in it, and I think people in it take it seriously. I don’t want people to think [the fandom is] just freaks obviously, but it was important people cared about what they were talking about."

It is either lifestyle or a hobby, there is no in between. And he's claiming if you don't agree with his definition of the fandom you are doing it a disservice....somehow. Then (I can't believe I missed this before) goes into to call the subjects of the documentary freaks.

I know there is the claim this documentary is about these furries and not the fandom as a whole, I wouldn't have a problem with that if this wasn't the biggest documentary to come out of the fandom due to its huge exposure. Something this big shouldn't be about these people specifically it should be a cross section of the whole fandom. Not just selecting the wackiest furries you can find and putting them on film. "Passionate" doesn't have to mean extreme.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (5 votes)

No

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Not just selecting the wackiest furries you can find and putting them on film. "Passionate" doesn't have to mean extreme.

There are many more people than Boomer in this movie. You can see some more of them in this new trailer.

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Just to give you my perspective on that one, I wasn't thinking of a "dumb person" when I was raising the issue, only someone who doesn't know enough about the fandom to see these people as non-representative of the fandom as a whole.

- Joe

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I feel like it's pretty safe to assume that not many people are going to walk into this one cold. Like down at the multiplex, "hey mabel get some popcorn and pick a movie... how about this one with the fox person on the poster?"

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

A little late responding, not sure if you or anyone else are still following this thread...

I feel like it's pretty safe to assume that not many people are going to walk into this one cold. Like down at the multiplex, "hey mabel get some popcorn and pick a movie... how about this one with the fox person on the poster?"

Or, they might be thinking "hey remember that CSI episode with those weird furries? They can't be as crazy as that--let's check this out," and they'll come out of the movie thinking "yes, they're that weird."

Sorry if I'm still obssessing over that show from 13 years ago, but I still meet people whose opinion of that fandom is based on it.

- Joe

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CSI is a low bar to beat isn't it? Trashy murder stories aren't meant for learning. But I'm having trouble imagining a significant section of documentary watchers who do it just to confirm dull prejudices. Worrying about lowest common denominators and "potential" problems like that could stop you from saying or doing anything, like Green was saying.

About people potentially becoming misinformed because they don't "know enough about the fandom to see these people as non-representative of the fandom as a whole", that's what documentaries are for... they're on youtube since 13 years ago and anyone who wants a boring 101 intro can go watch another. This one has it's subjects disagreeing with each other about representation, avoiding that in and of itself.

The movie's #2 on Google Play right next to Michael Moore, it's playing on planes, and I noticed a bump in world searches for "furries" on Google trends. That has to include more than furries. I've sat in 2 audiences for it and heard little but positive and curious comments, with many saying "that's not what I thought it would be". The only backlash so far seems to come from friends of Kage and furries themselves who typically refuse to watch it.

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Basically the movie has everything I'd want to see from a Furry documentary. Now I just want to see more.

Boomer is the Emperor Norton of Furry Fandom. His costume isn't scary, it's awesome... in a fandom that values being creative and unique there isn't another like it. Like his demeanor, it's the most simple presentation for a baffling idea. Sure it isn't super detailed with like sculpted abs and 17 shades of fur. It's the kind that looks like a big ball of fluff from 100 yards away, so great, he stands out in a crowd.

Dominic/Video is also super humble and an awesome guest, speaker and party animal... I'll throw a show for this again any time. :)

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I don't know, this whole thing is kind of frustrating; it's like, finally, someone has the balls to say, "Look, I'm into porn, you're into porn, furries are into porn, and you know what, the people who watch this are going to be into porn, so let's get fucking over it already." But then he doesn't show any!

Except for the Bad Dragon stuff, which sounds like just about the best thing in the movie (though I'm kind of disappointed to learn it comes after Boomer saying he's not into adult stuff, when what I thought it was when I first heard about it was a like a smash cut from Uncle Kage saying furries aren't into kinky stuff straight to dog dildoes, which would have been the best thing ever).

Other than, it sounds same old, same old; hey, more fursuits (I know it's your thing, Patch, but you always get your thing; there's always fursuits in these things, and nothing else).

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It doesn't tease about porn or throw it in your face... wouldn't that sell it as the movie about "that fetish"? Isn't there more than enough of that? Furry movies can leave it to the talk shows, or if you wanna see the porn, it's really easy to find yourself right?

I remember there was a 15 minute TV special about the Lakeside Furries in Austria... same deal. Euro TV isn't afraid to show porn, but there's one shot of one porn drawing in the whole thing. They treat it like just part of the whole tapestry and move on, great.

Or it could be a spank movie, by furries for furries... that would be a different thing but I think it would be pretty great too :)

Kage gets criticized gently in this. There could have been some ambush thing, or more of the smash cut trickery, but it leans on him talking in his own words instead. That's great, I don't mind Kage.

There are fursuits, but it's not an eye candy movie - it's a personality movie - if it was just the same old, there could have been a lot more of the fursuit dancing. I'm not all that impressed by other furry documentaries because they're just like a textbook 101 thing - this one rises above. If people want to see other stuff, I suspect there's a reason it hasn't been done yet, because it doesn't fit the medium as well - and ditto to this: "I think the best criticism of the movie is to make another movie."

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Give me the money, I'll make the movie. (Crossed in midstream as I was replying to myself with my bad photoshoppery, but it's actually a fairly decent reply to your points.)

Other than that, I'm talking about the interview; he apparently likes porn there, but not enough to talk about it in the movie.

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How do you get money to make a whole furry movie? He made a 12 minute thesis film for school, it was good enough to interest a production company to support more of it, won a $10,000 support grant because Pittsburgh has some arts support and Anthrocon just happens to be a phenomenon there... a nice confluence of circumstances and hard work. I hope this happens more often.

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So how do I get money for film school? I'm broke, Patch.

I'm sorry dude, but this "well, make your own movie" crap is something only rich people say.

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You probably have a smart-phone with a camera. Could try that. If you can show skill and talent with that then you can get the money for better equipment.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/28/7925023/sundance-film-festival-2015-tangerine-...
http://www.ippawards.com/

"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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ANIMATED.

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Don't recall you saying animated.

"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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That's the problem, Rakuen. That's the problem right there.

I shouldn't have to.

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You shouldn't have to? Sorry, but, when someone is saying how a live-action documentary does not show the aspects of the fandom that they want to show and that they would make their own movie, it is not reasonable to expect an observer to jump to the conclusion that they are now talking some animated film, presumably in a completely different direction. If someone comments that they don't like the new Batman movie do you immediately assume they wanted an animated educational programme? And why would someone even bring that up?

"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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Hi, Rakuen, I'm crossie. Apparently, we haven't met before.

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Hey, I just met you. And this is crazy. But here's my number. So call me, maybe!

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That'd be interesting.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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Helplessness is no excuse, the point is this one guy did make a movie nobody else would make, without a big studio. (He also doesn't happen to be rich, if the process of making his not-likely-to-reap-millions documentary is a clue). Someone else doesn't like how he made it and wants it done differently - that's entitled. If you want a story told your way, then do it. You don't even need film school to make films, you can do it in your bedroom if you're animating. If you don't have money for films, use another medium. That's how all the fursuits, comics, conventions etc happen. DIY is a great ethic for a low-art subculture.

This is reminding me of putting on low-brow and erotic art shows in a small town. Some douchebag demanded sheets over the art before the show started in case some fragile person might see, complaining that nudity wasn't proper. My friend said "if you want the tits painted properly, paint your own tits!"

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Actually, this is unfair. You're preemptively setting victory conditions; saying "this isn't what I want" may not be valid criticism but it is a perfectly valid response. If the only way, set by you and the documentarian, to validly respond to a documentary is by making your own, how am I supposed to respond when my feeling is "I think the entire exercise of creating furry documentaries is unrewarding for me"?

You are also implying I don't "love" or "care about" or "whatever the hell" furry enough because I don't drop everything to achieve an admittedly unrealistic goal. I'm not talking about documentary film-making here (which I could maybe feasibly accomplish); I'm talking about my dream projects. If I had a reasonable opportunity to accomplish those dreams, yes, I would be a ninny to let them go; but "you know, I really can't afford to do that" is not an unreasonable assessment of the reality of the situation, nor is it an acquiescence to "helplessness". Tomorrow is another day, and things may change, but it's just not in the cards right now.

You've set up unwinnable conditions for me, here, Patch. I either die trying to do something I don't want to do, or I'm not a real furry.

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I won't give out personal life info but you probably don't want to see my furry "documentary", it's kinda NSFW ;) Also this might involve how the Furry Force guys knew me.

And wow "fairness" is getting invasive. How does it matter what you want, when some artist is making their own creation in their own voice? Did you commission the movie or should they ask your permission? If it doesn't specially cater to you, you can skip seeing it. It's pretty easy not to get bugged that there's a movie with fursuits in it - it's been a pretty awesome year for this stuff, but I don't think there's going to be billboards with a 3 story tall Boomer that you can't ignore. Anyways he got to make the movie because it does reward someone. That's how people get money to make this kind.

Even saying it has responsibility for speaking for you isn't a productive move... The promotion and everything explicitly says it's not speaking for a group. The movie's about overbearing people stepping on other's personal expression out of misguided groupthink.

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Basically, what I'm saying is the most honest yet (effective) way to sale the fandom, if we're going to do this whole "documentary" thing, is with a poster that looks more like this (NSFW-ish, but that's the point).

Also, five minutes search on e621 (which tells me the original artist is "woadedfox", by the by) plus five minutes on Microsoft Paint, so bear with me, please.

Though, also, honestly, I say "the next movie" just skips the whole documentary thing and goes straight to animated exploitation flick; it worked for Fritz the Cat, and we draw cartoon animals way sexier than Crumb/Bakshi.

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I'm sorry, but Boomer is the quintessential example why this documentary doesn't work. We are labeled freaks just by ourselves and this....even as a furry I'm embarrassed by him. I get it, he's doing what he loves, and he's entitled to express himself in the fandom however he wants. But he is the worst possible choice to be representing such a diverse group of people (or unless I'm mistaken and we all eat dog food). It just goes back to my biggest problem with this documentary, the average viewer is not going to get it regardless of how many times the documentary may say "this doesn't represent all members of the fandom" they will just look the "freaks" and make their own judgements.

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Why do we even talk about movies if you already know what's in them before watching them.

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I don't need to watch the movie to know his deal. I know he's been on Dr. Phil, I know he tried to change his name and I know he's practically an outcast in the fandom.

And I don't need to see it to know the average movie goer is an idiot.

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You really do, though.

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You really don't know what you're talking about.

  • Boomer is only one of more than a half-dozen people profiled in the movie. The movie makes it very clear that he doesn't represent anybody but himself, not just by saying so, but by showing so many other furries who are nothing like him.
  • The movie doesn't portray him as a freak. By the end of it, the (sold-out!) audience full of non-furries at the screening I attended loved him.

You seem very convinced that your imaginary "average viewer" isn't going to understand this documentary you haven't seen. Assuming for the sake of conversation that you're right - that the "average viewer" is going to ignore the other 80% of this movie due to, I don't know, unfortunately-timed epileptic fits - why should anybody care?

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Just go full Wally Wood. I love the idea of exploitation flick too.

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I'm sorry, Patch, but, uh, your pitch is not my pitch; think this goes back to Cassidy the Civet's thing when I realized her problem with Zootopia was that it wasn't about her; I don't want to make a movie about the furry fandom. I want to make a furry movie. There's a difference.

Also, obviously, the other pitch is also not what I want, but, ironically, closer. Also, I'm obviously not against corporate capitalist conglomerate studios; after all, they've actually made furry movies, unlike most furries.

Edit: However, I've got this a kitsune goes to a furry convention and kills people horror pitch, so that kind of does split the difference, kind of.

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I don't care about Zootopia, about furries or not. It's just an anthro film, so people saying it would save the fandom are idiots. I'm not upset it "isn't about me", cause it wasn't. It just was a kids movie and nothing else. And everyone should realize that and move on.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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Your line about saving the fandom is missing the point; I don't think you understand my viewpoint. The way I see it, I'm a furry because I like Zootopia. What effect it would have on the fandom just ... doesn't even interest me. Now, I am interested on what effect the fandom might have had on it. We're coming at this from different directions; you're interested in "who furries are," while I care "what furries do." To me, one of the things furries do is get excited about, watch and love children's cartoons about anthropomorphic animals (and the idea that this excitement and love may have caught the attention of a monolithic corporation is interesting to me).

That's why I believe, even if you don't, that you don't like Zootopia because it's not about you, and like Fursonas because it is (and note, you haven't actually seen either movie). Because to you, furry is about finding an identity and building a community. You may argue, perhaps validly, that those two pursuits are nobler than simply "finding, watching and discussing talking animal cartoons", but, on the other hand, I would point out the furry fandom is hardly a well-respected community by outsiders, and is fractious and cliquey to insiders, while I would like to point out that "finding your identity" is a quest for self, i.e. a selfish quest (and, anyway, there's probably better ways to find your "true self" then pretending to be a civet on the Internet).

To get back on topic, we are examples of two types of furries (with, admittedly, various levels of hybridization between the two), and this documentary managed to schizophrenically alienate them both; "lifestylers," while they should be pleased that the movie (unlike Zootopia) is specifically about them, are angry about the very act of documentation, because it puts the "lifestyle" at risk, by exposing some of the more embarrassing parts, and "fans", who should be pleased by the exposure, even (and maybe even especially) controversial exposure, as it drives curiosity, and therefore a potential path to a larger audience for the artforms celebrated by these fans, but angers them by focusing on an extremely narrow and already well documented subset of those artforms (fursuiting) while completely ignoring anything else (writing, visual art, animation, comics, etc., etc.).

In other words it is selling the part of fandom that doesn't want to be sold, while ignoring the products of the part of the fandom that does.

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I don't like Zootopia cause it isn't about me, shut up. It's getting old, and I've said time and time again that that's not why I dislike it.

Pretending to be a civet on the internet...why're you determined to be a jackass? I'm not posting comments like *meows and rolls around* or whatever, so as far as the name goes it's just a screen name. I know a guy without a sona who uses a cactus to portray himself, what does that make him? XP

I know who I am as a person, and the furry part is just a fun way to express my already determined personality through. Stop it.

I agree with what you said about the movie but there isn't enough info for me to bash the movie, so I'm gonna wait to see it. The last documentary I saw, "Do I Sound Gay To You?", had it's awkward moments but overall had a good message. And that's the benefit I'm giving this movie. You're ransacking this movie like I did to Zootopia, but for different reasons. And now you're in the majority while I was always in the minority for my feelings on Zootopia.

I'd ask you to hold back but we both know you're not capable of that. XP

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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I'm sorry, did that come out too harsh about the "pretending to be a civet on the Internet"? I mean, it's supposed to be harsh in that I'm calling you selfish, but not in that you're pretending to be a civet; I'm pretending to be a fox, after all.

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I'm not selfish though, so just drop it. Let's just forget about Zootopia. You can go on being a fox and I'll go on being a civet.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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You and Patch are the ones who started the whole Zootopia vs. Fursonas thing, so next time, don't start none, there won't be none. Okey doke?

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Sure. They're not remotely the same kind of movie but the whole vs. thing was how it'd affect the fandom. XP

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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Hi, leave me out please :) the two movies are vastly separate. One's a corporate monolith propelled by marketing and the other's a personal passion project that rises with merit. One's very grudgingly and modestly recognizing a tiny niche of it's audience and the other's purely by and for that audience and wider because it stands on it's own as a good movie too.

"Furry" is the connection and that's a vague multi meaning word. The reason i did any comparison was to wave and say "hey guys, over here" while people fell over themselves to eat up another good thing that wasn't really needing support it didnt have. There was no comparison beyond an intentionally clickbait title.

Anyone can be a disney fan, theres nothing special about that. Having a self generated subculture is different. That's a good thing to promote.

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You've been very clear in all your comments, I didn't see any issue with what you said so I can only guess that Crossie's red fox ties to Zootopia are emotionally driving him. XP

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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Actually, I like the bunny better.

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No, you REALLY started it with your headline writing. And then do "I don't any part of this, but here's three paragraphs of fighting words anyway."

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Woah this blew up.

I'll see it, the interview was good but kinda unstructured. I don't have any qualms really, so I'll wait for the movie to be available.

Keep the peace everyone.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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Your website doesn't seem to use HTTPS protocol, Patch. That URL doesn't work.

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Sorry the domain is in the midst of being updated, might be glitchy for a day.

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Hi, everybody!

A word to the wise: that link to dogpatch press ("exploitation flick") brings up the following:

"The owner of dogpatch.press has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website."

- Joe

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Hi, everybody again!

I'm happy my interview has triggered such a lively debate. I'm also very happy to hear non-furs are enjoying the film in the screenings people mentioned - puts my mind at ease a great deal.

IMHO the best media piece (in terms of showing furry in a positive light) was the 1993 Sci-Fi Buzz segment on ConFurence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbLSfdaQDUI [sorry I don't know how to embed a link into text here] - they showed plenty of art along with interviewing furs and included a few shots of suiters as well.

Fun fact: you can see the bottom of my shoe at 1:21 into the piece. I had just started working for Sci-Fi Channel (as it was known at the time) and this was the first con I attended. I almost had a heart attack when I heard there was a crew there from my channel; I wasn't quite ready to come out of the furry closet back then, especially to my new employer and made sure to keep my face off-camera!

- Joe

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1993.

Why did those crazy kids have to come in and ruin everything!

Positive light.

Why do people so often assume that documentary (or anything else) has to serve positivity or represent them like it's made by the eye of god above - can't it just be a story told in someone's own voice?

Walking on eggshells to do service to everyone, as in crossie's complaints is just as limiting as the supposed narrow focus of this movie. At this point (when a community is bigger than a room in 1993) the documentary that does justice to everyone would be very generic and boring as shit. But this one's really not narrow - the subjects that were picked represent bigger things. Could crossie name any artists or writers who have a relationship with media and fandom like Boomer and Kage?

If so (and I do know of some really interesting issues about furry art) that would make a good documentary too, but a different one.

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In a fucking situation like fucking this fucking walking on fucking eggshells is fucking necessary!

This idiot is just damn negligent - plain and simply. He's just like "ah my audience is smart enough, they will look past three decades of misinformation and see that this portrait of the Fandom ISN'T representative of the Fandom."
Openly shitting on Uncle Kage - a man who is just GENUINELY working his ass off to set the record straight about Furries - and portraying him as a kind of dishonest Troll!
What the actualy fuck, Rodriguez? What the fuck?
Why is anyone defending this garbage?

He literally operates from the premise that SELF EXPRESSION and "BEING CAREFUL about how to portray the Fandom" are two opposing things.
What is this guy smoking? I'm just... so damn... disappointed about this shit...

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Despite your post being an angry rant there is one point I do agree on.

"He literally operates from the premise that SELF EXPRESSION and "BEING CAREFUL about how to portray the Fandom" are two opposing things."

The director says that Boomer doesn't care if his behavior has negative consequences for the fandom. There's freedom of expression and then there is common courtesy and thinking of others. You have to consider the consequences of your actions and how it effects you and those around you. Being a furry doesn't give you laissez-faire to do anything you want without consequences. That isn't self expression, that's just being an asshole.

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He actually said "What’s most important to him is expressing himself even if it potentially makes the community look bad." (emphasis added)

Often something you wish to do has the potential to harm a group you are associated with. It then becomes a balancing act; on the one hand, you might not want them to come to harm (though how much is up for debate) - while on the other, if you go through life caring only about how your actions may impact others, you're unlikely to do anything meaningful… or true to your values.

Ultimately, through inaction, you may even harm those you care for - including yourself. So, you take measured risks, doing what you can to achieve your primary goals while attempting to accommodate concerns in ways which least conflict with said goals.

Furry fandom also has at this point either tens or hundreds of thousands of people in it, depending on your definition. Are you to blame if you draw some furry porn and someone who saw it later hesitates over another fur's art portfolio in a job interview? Would it be bad for us to post a story which helps to identify a group causing damage to hotel rooms, but which causes another hotel to refuse to sign a contract with a furry convention?

In the end, it may be futile to worry, because nobody can know the full outcome of their actions. I've repeatedly met people who joined soon after hearing about it on CSI, of all places. I'm sure Boomer's story has inspired a few to look further.

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Thank you for the thoughtful response. I'm less worried about Boomer as a person than I am about the media exposure he's been getting. Nat Geo, Dr. Phil, Fursonas ect. He's been putting himself out there in a way no other furry does and I frankly find it a bit wreckless.

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So, he's supposed to get your permission?

The worst part about past exploitation-media is how it tricked people into doing things they later came to regret for themselves. Meanwhile Boomer is the same happy dog-person he was before most furries were even born.

He might not get your permission but he sure gets mine. He's the Emperor Norton of Furry fandom.

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Don't be ridiculous. I'm merely saying that when you talk to the media you are like or not, representing the fandom. You have to balance your personal interests against those you are speaking for. You may not want that responsibility, but that's the burden that comes with it. If you don't, you're going to piss a lot of people off and maybe damage the fandoms tenuous reputation. You think Boomer is a pariah in the fandom because of his lifestyle?

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"Representing the fandom" is the new "think of the children". Does your mommy know you're posting here?

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I thought this site was for civil discussion, not condescension and rude behavior? I'm offering my opinion and we are both adults here. If you don't like what I have to say, fine. But the attitude is unnecessary and unwarranted.

I believe (as in it's my opinion, no one else's) that when you speak to the media you are speaking for others. Once you step in front of a camera you're not just offering your opinion, your making a statement about yourself and by extension the fans. Fandoms do not have official representatives and that means anybody can have that role. It's a privilege and a responsibility that we show the best aspects of the fandom when speaking to the "norms".

I love this fandom, I want it to grow, to gain mainstream acceptance. I think it's a wonderful thing, that there is literally nothing else quite like it. So you'll forgive me if I'm little protective of it. I'm not suggesting we hide the crazier aspects of the fandom. I just want people to be careful and mindful of what they say to the media. It has taken us decades to recover from the damage the media did in the 90s. And in today's connected world the risk is much higher. It's one thing to get ambushed outside a con, but to engage in what I can only describe as attention seeking behavior (seriously? Dr. Phil!?) is putting the fandom at risk.

Maybe I'm crazy for caring this much, and my fears are probably unfounded, but only time will tell.

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You should probably diversify your hobbies if you think "norms" care about your one hobby or your opinion as much as you do. It's so objectionable to hear the petty high-school-spirit approach, like sharing a hobby entitles one random person to crawl up another's ass about privilege and responsibility. Get over yourself? "Risk" what, is someone forcing furry fans to use separate drinking fountains? I'm not embarrassed about Boomer, I'm embarrassed about pretentiousness. That kind, not the fun kind. I will always tell people that Boomer represents me more than some mormon missionary thing. Speaking of seeking "mainstream acceptance", who gives a shit? Is it him that's overly concerned about attention? If media is bad, that's their problem and they need to change, and there will always be trashy media. Ignore the bad, praise the good ones, and make your own. All of this stuff I like has been growing and thriving despite outside attention and it's not because people acted meek.

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You may as well just sign in at this point Mr. Gryphon...

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Most of the people defending the movie have actually seen it. Maybe when you see it, you'll understand why.

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The "audience" of the movie seems more like people who are already active within the furry fandom; people who don't know that a significant majority of furries do not own or wear fursuits are probably going to be left to the wayside with most of the rest of the film.

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The first thing he tells people is don’t say things like “we don’t all have sex in animal costumes” to reporters—don’t lead with a defensive comment. At one point he says he accepts everyone [into the fandom] then elsewhere in your film he starts excluding people he feels don’t represent furry in its best light

That's the thing about Kage that annoys me the most. He's done great things for the fandom and has so much influence but he's not consistent and he'll throw people under the bus for what he wants. You could justify it as for the greater good but it seems more like dragging furry back when furry could be pulling society forward.

It's interesting to hear it meant as more than just a hobby. I put it in the hobby category but the vast majority of my time outside of work is spent on the fandom and I realised I spent $150 on furry stuff and supporting furs this last month. Which is quite different to normal but regardless it's a lot of money to toss out there.

I've heard some interesting things about this documentary though and I do want to see it.

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

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I'll probably have an interview with Video too if he allows, once the movie is available abroad. I want to see the movie, and I'm sure I'll be left with questions after seeing it, about the creative process. This interview doesn't address my questions.

"When I tell people I’m a fur and I get that standard 'you people dress up as animals and have sex,' I have to go out of my way and explain that’s a minority interest."

That is not my response to such a statement, 'going out of my way to explain it's a minority interest'. The statement is a non-sequitur. It's just as valid as:

'I like Magic the Gathering Trading Card Game' -> 'You people dress up as magicians and have sex'

My first thought is 'what the hell are you smoking'. My response is, not 'getting out of my way' to prove the statement wrong but simply answering matter-of-factly it is wrong. The statement is not offensive, just bizarrely incorrect. (And before you answer it's correct in some cases, well so are a few MTG fans probably role-playing in bed about having wizard sex, but that's not what the hobby's about.)

It comes down to the degree you're comfortable with your hobby. Other fandoms / hobbies don't have to 'go out of their way' to explain what they're not, so why do you feel you have to.

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My favorite response to that question in the documentary comes from the older gentleman, who laughs and simply says, "There are a lot of young people in the fandom. I had a lot of sex in my 20's, too." Unfortunately everyone seems focused on the big-name controversial characters in the movie, when the other people featured have a lot of really great things to say.

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Okay then, if someone tells me "you people dress up [etc]" how should I respond? I feel I have a responsibility to the fandom to put "those" people in the context of the fandom as a whole. I don't think I'm going out of my way or there's anything defensive about trying to clarify a misconception.

- Joe

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All these people - the interviewer, the commenters - worrying about how the public is going to react to this movie, when they could just go out and see how they're already reacting.

The Pittsburgh premiere was sold out. I saw an audience full of non-furries laugh with fursuiters as they danced and squeaked. Gasp at insults and death threats thrown at Chew and Boomer. Squirm in their seats as Varka demonstrated "cum-lube" - but still listen when he explained the importance of embracing your sexual identity. And they truly did fall in love with Boomer. He was there in person for the Q&A afterward (along with the director, in suit) and I'm certain he never felt more welcome anywhere in his life - certainly moreso than at a furry convention.

Of the several articles about this movie I've seen in non-furry media, not one has reacted the way so many people are expecting. The most critical review I read actually claimed the movie painted too rosy a picture. Ironically, the people most concerned about the sexual honesty of the film seem to be furries themselves.

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I think I need to say that, while I am going to bitch the hell out of this movie, I am a fan of the fact that it seems by all accounts to be an honest, not-whitewashed account (and agree with Video that Chew Fox got railroaded).

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"The few furries shown in the movie are embarrassing, but not every furry is embarrassing."
but
"The few people who have seen the movie understood that, so everyone who sees the movie will understand"

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The "embarrassing" furries (your word, not mine) everybody's focusing on don't even make up half of the cast. There are plenty of non-"embarrassing" people featured who'll probably be more to your liking.

And as far as the audience's understanding: the entire second half of the documentary focuses on the concept of furry representation and self-expression. This isn't some subtle subtext that this audience happened to be smart enough to pick out - it's the explicit point of the film. You'd have to be deaf or not understand English to miss the message.

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Every furry sees the fandom differently. It's obvious with nearly every elevator pitch: You'll try to answer a passerby's question with what you feel is a brief and concise description about furries, and you'll be interrupted by another furry who feels the need to add or clarify what it is by their definition. We seem to think that the answer has to be absolutely perfect or else we'll look bad. When, paradoxically, there's no correct answer to the question, because we all have a different perspective on what the fandom is to us.

A documentary's a lot longer than an elevator pitch but it seems to have the same effect: People are clamoring to correct the pitch with their own for fear of embarrassment, and the movie's not even released yet. Perhaps some furries will agree with part or all of what this documentary has to say, but the remarks I've seen imply that most of us will be embarrassed by it.

To me it does seem pretty unfair for one person to have a voice about what the fandom is, when nobody can agree on it. I think there's also a secondary fear that the louder that voice is, the more the fandom will actually change to match that voice's definition. For example, the infamous CSI episode brought new furries into the fandom expecting it to be how it was pictured, and every time the media says "furries are people who wear animal costumes," more people join the fandom expecting to be accepted only if they have a fursuit.

I haven't seen it, but I feel like it's unlikely that Video can know for sure how viewers in would respond to his movie. He says "Give people some credit," but I don't think I can. The presidential primary results right now are a sturdy reminder that people don't think the same way. And no movie has ever been interpreted exactly one way. Just because you want people to understand you doesn't mean they ever will.

Video also says that the best response to the movie is another movie - one directed by another person's viewpoint. That's all fine and dandy. Let's all of us just stop what we're doing and make movies to express exactly what we feel about what furry is. Obviously we can't do that. That's why it's unfair for this movie to carry one person's voice. Even though we all can't agree on what "furry" truly is, what we need is a movie that speaks for everyone who cares enough to try to answer the question on their own - or a movie that at least tries to.

This is the first time I'm learning that the movie contains items of an adult nature. I'm disappointed about that and pretty worried. I sure can't wait for my coworkers to see that movie and start wondering how many animal dildos I must own.

All of this, of course, is conjecture, and I guess I will have to watch the movie to know for sure how I feel about it. When is the release?

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It's very frustrating to see people continually claim that this documentary portrays one person's idea of what the furry fandom is, when in reality it takes great pains to make clear that it's simply sharing the stories of a few individuals in the fandom, who don't represent anybody but themselves. Why do people assume otherwise?

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I admit that I'm only a new fur (two months old), but after reading a lot of posts here and on Fur Affinity, it feels like Furry Fandom is still very much a genie in a bottle, in spite of all the talk about the importance of self-expression. Furries are desperate to control the message about their identity in mainstream culture and are constantly trying to manage every piece of writing that increases visibility of furry fandom. And so any writing that touches upon furry as a part of someone's core identity or sexuality is immediately labeled as "one person's experience/opinion" for fear of being tarred by the same brush.

I think all of this is silly, personally. The bottle will eventually break, the genie let loose and there will be no controlling it. A lot of non-furries will convince themselves that Furry is just a sex thing because that's exactly what they did for gay and trans people when they started coming out. And a lot of non-furries are going to get confused by what "Furry" is because it's a vague umbrella term and not a singular specific concept like "Homosexuality" or "Transgender". And for those of us for whom furry is a core part of our biology, it's even harder to talk about because there is no mainstream equivalent. Most people have a gender and sexual identity built into their biology, but hardly anyone has a furry identity in their biology. So getting people to empathise with how we see the world is a much, much harder task.

What we do have on our side are two things:
- The internet; simple explanations of furry are now just a Google search away.
- An increasingly permissive society that understands the importance of personal and sexual self-expression.

The good thing is that when Furry does eventually go mainstream, I'd like to think it will be a last stand for the acceptance of marginalised identities. If you can accept all aspects of furry fandom, from the hobbyist side to the sexual side, then there's not much left to feel threatened by.

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How is 'furry' a core part of your biology. There is a scientifically valid defined answer to the question 'What is furry'. It's a cultural tendency or movement centered on animal anthropomorphics. When I identify as a furry, I'm saying 'I'm part of this cultural tendency. This is what I like, this is something that is core (to some lower or higher degree) to me as a person'. I don't understand what you mean by part of your biology. Do you mean to say you're a therian? If so you're talking about being therian, not being furry per se.

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No, I am not a therian. But I believe that my furry identity comes from a biological place because I've had a compulsion to create fursonas for myself since I was very, very young; long before I even knew what fursonas or furry identity was. I'm 28 now and I've had a fursona for pretty much my entire life without realising exactly what I was doing. I made no conscious choice about it, nor is it something that developed in me over time. It was always a natural part of me from the very beginning, like being a cisgender male. And even now I don't feel like I have a choice in this; it's just something I feel compelled to do.

And the reason why I say I'm not therian is because I don't reject any part of my humanity. In fact, my current choice of fursona (leopard) was made consciously based on how aspects of the animal's body shape reflect my own real life body shape. No mystical force drew me to the leopard, nor do I particularly identify with leopards as personalities. It's entirely physical, not a trace of the spiritual.

The word that I currently use to describe my identity as a furry is "zoomorphic". When I look at a furry character like Nick Wilde, my brain interprets him as an animalised human, even though he has more animal attributes than human ones. Furry to me is an extension of my humanity, not a contradiction of it.

And that's why I say it's a part of my biology. If you have an article or study on hand that suggests otherwise, I'd be interested in seeing it.

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Zoomorph, zoomorphic identity, sounds about right. I'd be cautious in calling it categorically furry. You said:

And so any writing that touches upon furry as a part of someone's core identity or sexuality is immediately labeled as "one person's experience/opinion" for fear of being tarred by the same brush.

And I can sympathize and I can see how you'd think that's a common position, or that's my position by calling your zoomorphism not generally furry. I can't talk for everybody, but I can talk from my POV.

I am not fearful that someone may think I like to have sex in fursuit. Or that I have a zoomorphic identity like the one you describe. That's something people can do, or can have, happily and healthily, and I'm glad people enjoy it. It's just not what a large amount of people do in the furry fandom, so it makes it factually incorrect to say the furry fandom does it, or the furry fandom is this.

Artistic expressions or cultural tendencies have particular staples that go beyond the nomenclature. So the furry is, as defined, a cultural tendency centered on animal anthropomorphics, but in a sense that is common in those who practice it. So for example about 20 - 25% furry fans define themselves as MLP fans, that is enough to say many furries enjoy MLP. But not enough to say furries are MLP fans. That statement would be false. So no, the furry fandom is not about MLP.

Nuka's statistics show some of the most widely thought-of-as-furry components of the fandom are art, sense of community, and internet activity. [adjective][species] surveys also shows art as one of the most 'prevalent' component of the fandom. So talking about furry in those terms is accurate. Doing otherwise, not so much, thus the 'that's your personal experience' rebuttal. Sex consistently scores low on the general furries' priorities too; as much as someone could have a sexual identity that is unmistakably animal anthropomorphic, that's not what furry fandom is about, in the general sense. But it can very well be in how they live it themselves.

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Reading this post, I'm suddenly appreciating Zootopia on a whole new level. Since coming out as furry, I've been Judy Hopps reading about this magical city called Furry Fandom where everyone is welcoming and tolerant and totally ahead on issues of identity and sexuality compared to normal folk. So I get off the train at Furry Fandom, ready to explore with wide eyes and a big smile, and I decide to take a look into the Fur Affinity forums. Immediately I see the most popular topic by far is "What you hate about Furry", which everyone responds to with things like "the porn" (this one's at least understandable), "the lifestylers", "people who take the fandom too seriously", "people who feel they have to come out as furry", "people who engage sexually with furry", and so on. After reading a few more threads, I got the distinct impression that my furry identity was unwelcome there.

So then I come to Furry Fandom Police Department (Flayrah) thinking this looks like a better place for discussion and an opportunity for me to engage with the community. And immediately, literally the moment I post about my furry identity, someone tells me that my interest in walking talking cartoon animals is different from other people's interests in walking talking cartoon animals, and therefore I don't get to represent furry fandom. Even though the definition of "furry" is so vague that any three-year old with a drawing of Mickey Mouse could call themselves furry, I have to do parking duty while the REAL furries do all the important work. But it's okay! Because if I don't like the status quo, there are these ghettos... I mean websites where I'll be accepted by "deviant" furries so the majority of "normal" furries don't have to bother listening to me and my crazy identity! Isn't that grand?

Look, I get why this is happening. Historically, any community that feels threatened by wider society turns to "survival" behaviours, which includes closing rank on the community and limiting self-expression. But Furry Fandom is a community that promotes itself on self-expression, and yet a large chunk of the comments in this thread are about how sexual furries should stop expressing themselves in media so that the rest of the fandom can represent themselves "fairly". I think I'll stop just short of raising a middle finger to that argument, and instead I'll leave with the point that a Furry Fandom that can't openly accept sexual furries is amazingly hypocritical. Even you do accept us, the least you can do is not make us feel unwelcome literally the moment we get off that train.

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I think that "biology" is just the wrong term for what you're describing; perhaps its a part of your "psychology" or "personality." Or, put it another way, a biological process is something like eating, breathing, or pooping. It's just an inaccurate term for an otherwise valid position.

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That doesn't really relate to what Mike Retriever was just saying, but for the sake of argument, I prefer "biology" because it distinguishes the parts of a person that are made by nature and cannot be influenced or changed, as opposed to the parts that are influenced by choice or personal development. As many gay and trans people will attest, it's very easy for people to claim that a person's identity is just something their imagination invented or its a mental illness that developed during childhood. I have already seen at least one person on Fur Affinity claim that furries cannot have a core furry identity the way that gay or trans people have core identities, and that they're just being over-dramatic.

Again, it's quite sobering to find that there are people even in furry fandom who are more than happy to deny the existence of other people's identities, despite the significant proportion of the fandom who hold furry as a core physical or spiritual identity. I've never experienced marginalisation as a gay man in my life, but I've experienced it within days of engaging with furry fandom.

PS: I'm sorry that I'm being confrontational so soon after joining this community, but I'm having a "bubble has burst" moment with regards to my understanding of furry fandom and that's making me a bit emotional.

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There are very few things that can't be influenced or changed in biology. I also don't think sexuality is unchangeable. In fact it did seem like there was some evidence to suggest that once furries join the fandom their sexuality changes, although the right follow up is currently missing. Well, Nuka should have some idea but hasn't shared his long term surveys.

Also you're confusing being marginalised with being disagreed with. People here generally care and are passionate about the furry fandom, have pretty deep knowledge about it and aren't afraid to defend their views. So yes, you will get disagreed with. But you're not marginalised because no one is kicking you off the site and no is preventing your involvement in the discussion.

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

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I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the consensus was sex IS unchangeable, but a lot of people have trouble coming to terms with their bisexuality due to the way that they are taught to repress their sexuality from a young age. At first you imagination yourself as heterosexual because that's what society tells you is normal and desirable. Eventually you come to terms with your attraction to people of the same sex and label yourself homosexual. But then you realise that there were things that aroused you about the opposite sex and then your identity shifts again. It sounds weird but people can take a long time to work out their sexual identity, sometimes into middle age and even old age. Brains are complicated and not always good at telling us how we feel about things.

As for your second point, I am aware that I'm talking to some kind and passionate people in this thread. But I can also see the fox repellent you're all carrying by your sides, just in case. Again, a big theme of Zootopia is recognising the difference between personal and systemic prejudice. Personal prejudice is like throwing a racist slur in someone's direction; most people don't do that so they confidently label themselves "not racist". But systemic prejudice is when multiple people from multiple places discourage or bar minorities from positions of power or otherwise speaking their voice against the status quo. And you don't need to be actively hateful to support systemic prejudice; all it takes is a belief that minority presence could in some way cause harm to the majority status quo and then subconscious behaviour will do the rest.

When a hundred people are telling me that visibly sexual furries in movies and TV reflect badly on furry fandom, and then someone directly tells me that my own identity makes me unsuitable to represent furry fandom, that is marginalisation. You're happy to read my opinion on a small comments section, but somehow I don't think you'd be so agreeable if I was confidently expressing myself in that Fursonas movie.

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Not sure if that's become the consensus or not but it seems quite unlikely to me. Also not entirely sure how you would test repression versus a changing sexuality. Couldn't one also say that taste in music is fixed at birth and it's just sometimes people repress which music they really like?

People weren't being prejudiced. They said you were wrong. No one said you couldn't represent the fandom, what people said was you what you were calling furry was something else.

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

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I think, therefore I am, Crossaffiction

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I'm sorry you feel unwelcome. Really I don't think anyone here is genuinely wishing people with sexual furry preferences or a strong sense of furry identity (which I have one as well, just not in the same way as you) to disappear. They simply don't like those themselves, or feel threatened by media focusing on those.

But another thing that is relatively common in not just the furry fandom but any fandom is drama, to some varying degrees. To an outsider with a distanced position these may even seem nonsensical and comical. "Are Romulans or Vulcans the superior race?" Who really cares? Just find those things and people you like in the furry fandom, and do what makes you happy! You will find akin furries, and if you feel welcomed enough, your furry identity will prevail over non-sayers.

I believe Video is setting a new trend in media relationships that's about showing the diversity without restraint, instead of 'hiding 'retard' uncle Joe' like Kage says (that's an actual expression he uses). The movie is admittedly attempting to break older protectionist habits.

Previously I was talking about factually defining furry fandom, rather than media handling or unwelcoming trends. It's important to define furry in an accurate and simple way so that people can understand what it is in 30 seconds, rather than by watching a 90 minute movie. Each person's personal experience on furry will be different, just like a painter from the 16th century and a writer from the 17th century had different views on what Renaissance is, even though they both followed staples from the Renaissance.

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Thanks for responding, Mike. I know I kind of over-reacted to your post and I'm sorry for that. It's just that things become a lot more personal when the subject is your core identity; the flippancy of others can be more upsetting than it would normally be. I'm also facing the fact that this is my first personal experience feeling marginalised by people. But I'll get over it. And you're right, I'm sure I'll soon find my own friends in the furry fandom.

Going back to the issue of defining furry, I think the problem with your idea of focusing on the art is that it emphasises the interests of the hobbyist furries and excludes the nature of furry as a core identity. Furry is actually very unusual as an umbrella definition because it covers two groups of people who approach furry from completely different places. And I think the only way you can do both justice to both groups is to acknowledge this fact.

So here's my slapped-together thirty second definition of Furry:
"Furry is a community made up of two general groups; people with an interest in media that features cartoon or anthropomorphic animals, and people who embrace animal attributes as a core part of their physical or spiritual identities."

Granted, this is not a "simple" definition but that seems to me to be pretty concise and accurate. Thoughts?

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Not a good definition. I already made a proper definition of furry (well, mostly tweaking the standard one to make it work better).
https://www.flayrah.com/3541/opinion-redefining-furry
With some extra stuff based on other articles when I did it as a talk at Eurofurence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmDvaqyhB4I

First part is average but your second part confuses furries with therians and otherkin. That is something else entirely, with a small overlap. Also (see my links) it's not accurate because anthropomorphic is an awkward term when you get technical.

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

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I read your article and I have to agree with the first comment under it; it's very well-written but I think it better illustrates why furry is so hard to define than it actually succeeds in defining furry.

The problem is that Furry is as much a personal and individualistic thing as it is a community of people. In any other community, you could say something like, "Star Wars isn't science-fiction, it's science-fantasy!" and a lot of people would go along with that idea. But that doesn't work in furry fandom because there's too many people with a personal stake in furry and nobody wants to feel excluded from the community.

Furthermore, using definitions to try and break up furry fandom clearly doesn't work. I mean, you say that therians/otherkin are not furries but... do they know that? I mean, they're listed in Wikifur and the 2016 Furry Poll and discussed on furry sites like adjective species. I get that they have their own websites tailored to their unique interests but it seems to me like any attempt to actually separate them from furries feels half-hearted at best because there is way too much crossover between them.

When you think about it, trying to define furry is like trying to purposely start an internet meme. It keeps failing because it feels artificial. Memes spread because they are a natural reflection of the human experience, and forced memes fail because they feel disingenuous. Likewise, the way you have defined furry to me feels so arbitrarily exclusionary that my immediate instinct is to question your motivations. What do you gain by defining furry in a way that excludes me and what do I lose by being excluded from furry? And I know that's probably not your trail of logic at all, but that's how it feels to me and I reckon that's why furry fandom responds so negatively (or at least apathetically) to such definitions.

I think my personal plan going forward is to simply express myself as a zoomorphic furry (and yes, I am insisting on labeling myself furry) and see if anyone else picks up on the idea. If no one does and I end up being the only zoomorphic furry in the world, that's fine. But I think it's a more natural way to build a furry identity than to try and force a definition that excludes people.

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Well the idea was looking at what is generally considered furry and shared/posted on furry sites and then isolating the common thread. It doesn't have to include every single thing. But maybe it's just a difference in philosophy. I don't like meaningless words and letting everyone have their own definition of furry makes it meaningless.

Therians get excluded because their main motivation is not in common with the furry fandom as a whole. However there is nothing stopping people from being both furry and therian. Also all those spiritual concepts just don't exist. We're not a religion so let's not identify by a shared delusion.

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

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"I don't like meaningless words and letting everyone have their own definition of furry makes it meaningless."

I would argue the complete opposite. In fact, I would say that people having their own definitions of furry is itself one of the defining qualities of furry fandom. Have you never considered WHY furries insist on wrapping the language around themselves? Because that's not a practice common in other fandoms. There are lots of people who identify as fans of science-fiction, but almost no one tries to make the language of science-fiction itself personal to themselves.

Language is memetic. No one person really has control of it and gets to say, "This is what that word means." New words and new meanings only take hold in the zeitgeist if people look at it and say, "This word/meaning is useful to me, therefore I have an incentive to use it in future." If thousands of people are ignoring your definition of furry, what they're really saying is, "Your definition is useless to me. It does not represent my identity or my interests."

So instead of words, let's look at the BEHAVIOUR of furries. Because if you understand that behaviour, then you'll understand why the language is what it is. And I think this is where hobbyist furries seem to stumble; they recognise that a lot of furries self-identify physically/spiritually/sexually with animal attributes but they don't really empathise with them. I can tell a hobbyist furry that my furry identity is as core as my gender identity and sexual identity, and the response is usually a dismissive, "Whatever, I don't really care what you get up to." Even if you can't feel that particular experience, the failure to even engage with the idea of furry as a core identity is where the conversation within furry fandom stalls.

And yet that core self-identification is a big part of why furries wrap the language around themselves. A person cannot bend their gender or sexuality around the interests or needs of their community, and likewise I cannot bend my zoomorphic furry identity around the interests or needs of furry fandom. I cannot change myself to fit into furry, so I make furry fit into me, hence my own definition of furry. And as someone who sees a lot of like-minded people in furry fandom apparently behaving in the same way, then I refuse to separate my identity from that of furry fandom, not even on the relatively trivial basis of language.

And this is where I think JoeStrike has a point, even if I'm more vague about the idea of a "furry gene" than he is (we don't even really know what causes homosexuality yet). You suggest that the number of people who have a core physical or spiritual furry identity is too small to be worthy of significant consideration. And yet in reality, the number of core-identity furries is so great that they have completely removed your ability to define the language. And the numbers are certainly going to grow as understanding and acceptance of furry grows. Again, this is not a thing that happens in other fandoms. Maybe there are a handful of people in the world who believe themselves to be part-robot, just enough to meet up in a small chat room online. But core-identity furry is something much bigger and there are increasingly repeated instances of people "coming out" in one way or another. Maybe it will all turn out to be just a "shared delusion", but what I think we're seeing is the exploration of an entirely new sphere of psychology.

Also, for the record, I'd like to point out a contradiction in your thinking. You've said that you want to define what furry "generally is" for the sake of non-furries and I think that's a noble goal. But you haven't been doing that; you've been defining what IS and ISN'T furry in very fixed terms. Furry IS people who are interested in anthropomorphised animals, but furry ISN'T therians, otherkin or zoomorphic furries like myself.

But you really don't need to do this. Even though furries like to have their own personal definitions, we still all have a general understanding of what furry is. Like, nobody is trying to define furry as being about robots or plants. Furries are happy with a vague definition because in this case, vagueness is actually more useful than exactness. If you've got the gist of furry and are open-minded to other people's preferences, then that's all you really need.

Again, language is memetic. Observe the behaviour of furries and mould the language accordingly. If you try and force the language, people are just going to ignore you.

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The 'new sphere' of psychology you mention would be the study of identity. It's a messy subject I don't grasp, and I haven't met anyone who's helping really.

I'm a cis male who's never had a real issue with his identity. To be fair, while my position in the Kinsey scale is close to 5, I still hesitate a bit to think of myself as gay. But it's a non-issue. I'm gay. As it is a non-issue to call myself furry, because I love furry and I'm in the furry fandom, etc. Simple as that. And the day I realize I'm into Civil War reenactments, I'll be a Civil War reenactment fan. And it might be something really close and personal to me. And that will be my identity.

But nowadays there are all these kinds of new and strange identities we're not just supposed to respect but understand and include and admire. And doing otherwise is kind of offensive? It's understandable it could be offensive, identity is literally the most intimate thing one has. But when I find a transgender, to whom I say "Interestingly I've found people who have the identity of a different species (therians)", and they feel offended because probably to them that's absurd / undermines their transgender identity. And then I find people who have the identity of not a real animal but an anthropomorphic animal (here Raien). And I also see people who feel they're the offspring of a scaly alien who visited Earth...

I feel I want to express, without wanting to offend (and I probably will anyway): the rest of the world doesn't revolve around your identity. Be whatever you want to be, but don't expect others to take it so much into account, that's your identity.

To the defense of a furry identity, Nuka's surveys show furries identify as furries more so than non-furries identify as other things; their furry identity is in many cases a core part of their experience as a furry fan. He also talks about how identity makes furry fans unite and help each other, etc. And, the definition he uses in his surveys for 'furry fan' is admittedly: 'Someone who believes is a furry'. In that case they'd have to identify as furry to be part of the furry fandom -> identity. But your way of experiencing furry identity Raien is not common.

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Maybe my specific way of experiencing furry identity (i.e. zoomorphic) is not common, but it is part of a general commonality. Namely that I am part of a large group of furries that express a core furry identity.

My complaint is not with people telling me that zoomorphic furries are not common or that furry fandom should revolve around me. My complaint is that hobbyist furries IN GENERAL seem to be trying to minimise the experiences of core-identity furries IN GENERAL through language, and when that divide is closer to 60%/40% of the furry population, that is both significant and grossly unfair.

Hobbyist furries like to express their identities through their interactions in art and media, so naturally when they are asked to define furry, their answer is something like, "People with an interest in anthropomorphic animals expressed through art and media". They include themselves to the exclusion of others. But when a core-identity furry does the exact same thing, hobbyists have an immediate inclination to minimise or exclude those opinions either by declaring them "not furry" or making an excuse like the majority is more important or it confuses non-furries. I know you hate to hear this but this is a text-book example of systemic prejudice. This is what Zootopia was all about.

My first example of a furry definition may not have been good as an actual definition, but I think my acknowledgement of both hobbyist furries and core-identity furries was important. I may not engage with furry as a hobbyist, but I didn't exclude hobbyists from recognition as furries. So I don't understand why you feel the need to exclude core-identity furries from the same recognition, except that you think being part of a small majority gives you the right to make that decision.

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While I tend not to get into debates over the definitions, because it tends be something I consider a bit trivial at best. And even the movie's trailer says that basically every furry knows that what a furry is is always going to be talked about in some degree. I kind of have had the thought about how zoomorphism plays a role within the fandom as much as anthroporphism has.

In my experience "anthropomorphism" is trying to 'raise up' an animal to have human cognition. Where-as those who'd be for zoomorphism might think that our tendency to over-rely on our cognition, and our usage of it to harm others for selfish purposes maybe make the less cognitive animal a better state of being. To me, of course, there has to be some degree of misanthrope for one to see zoomorphism as the ideal. Whereas one who sees anthropomorphism as the positive would have to be more a philanthropist.

And some of us can see the points in both sides.

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Hi Sonious,

I actually have a very different interpretation of anthropomorphism versus zoomorphism. It's more about what characters "are" rather than what they are becoming. For example, when I look at an anthro character, do I recognise them as human or animal? If I was friends with Nick Wilde, would I need to distinguish my human identity from his because we both have different physical features? Or do I recognise him as an animal and fundamentally different from me as an individual? For me, being a zoomorph is about recognising the inner humanity of anthro characters. They are animalised humans, not humanised animals.

At this point you might ask, how is this different from how non-furries look at anthro characters? The fact that most people are able to relate to the way that anthro characters move and emote like human beings is one of the main reasons why they are so universal in culture.

The difference is that as a zoomorphic furry, I recognise the character's humanity on more than just an intellectual level, but also on a romantic level and, yes, even potentially on a sexual level. If human identity was an umbrella that covers many different kinds of people, then my umbrella is larger still.

As for people who favour anthropomorphism... you know, I'm not going to give my impressions right now. I'm still quite ignorant about the specifics of other core-identity groups within furry fandom and I would feel bad for trying to speak for other people until I was confident I have my facts straight.

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Well, if it makes you feel better, I've been doing this for 10 years and I still haven't a damn clue.

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I sympathise with you. The funny thing is, after I responded to you and realised that the word "zoomorphic" could be taken in entirely different ways, I've been wondering if "zoomorphic furry" was even a good label for myself to begin with.

When I first came out as furry, one of the things I really wanted to do was dig deep into my own psychology because the way my brain was responding to anthro animals was bizarre and fascinating to me. And for the most part, I just considered myself a standard furry because my experiences (creating fursonas since a young age, a "coming out" phase, a romantic attraction to anthro characters) were all things I'd seen other furries express online and in research studies I read about on adjective species.

But I wanted to go even further in understanding myself, and it was after a few days of thinking that I hit upon the point that my brain was interpreting anthro characters as human, not animal. That's when I decided on "zoomorphic" as a term. But now I'm thinking that if there were more furries who think like me, they almost certainly wouldn't dig as far into their psychologies as I did. They'd be satisfied with the idea of furries being about anthropomorphic animals, especially given that furries who self-identify specifically with animal attributes have their own terms like therian and otherkin.

I'm still going to hold onto zoomorphic as a symbol of my psychology, but I don't think I'm going to use it in conversation anymore. I've been using the word "core-identity furry" a lot in this thread so I'll probably stick to using that.

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Don't really want to continue this for various reasons. Will say with regard to "Like, nobody is trying to define furry as being about robots or plants." You've obviously never heard of postfurry.

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

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I have heard of postfurry and it doesn't affect my argument. In order for postfurry to exist, it has to recognise the existence of furry. So even within the postfurry community, there is still a general understanding of what furry is. And what furry isn't is being about robots and plants.

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Funny to now read a news article about a company being sued over their "natural" product because their definition of natural and the complainants definition of natural differ. If only there had been an agreed upon definition of the word the whole nasty business could have been avoided. It's almost like people were making their own definitions and didn't have a common understanding of what natural because if they did then that would be the definition.
http://gizmodo.com/quaker-oats-is-being-sued-because-people-still-dont-kno-17745...

"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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Err, you seem to be wandering into an entirely different ball park in order to save your argument here. Yes, LEGAL definitions certainly need to be specific in order to prevent people from lying during a business transaction, or just to make clear where the law stands in order to avoid miscarriages of justice.

But what does that have to do with furry? Furry isn't a legal definition, nor have I seen any evidence that it needs to be at present. For one thing, simply misrepresenting your identity, whether it be furry or gender or sexuality, is not in and of itself illegal. If it came out that the leader of a gay rights organisation was not himself gay and had been lying to his members for decades, that would be a disgusting thing to do and certainly piss off the members of his group, but he wouldn't be breaking the law. The outcome would be the same if furry became a legal term.

Likewise, a product advertised as being "furry" could not really be sued for misrepresentation. I mean, if advertising said, "This product is of an anthro dog" and then the product was of a human, that would be false advertising because there's a specific difference between the advert and the product. But if advertising just said, "This is a furry product." and the customer disagreed, there would be no recourse for the customer.

Maybe one day there will be a law defining what a furry product is. But laws like that are only made in response to actual cases where people claim that products have been falsely advertised. And in my very short time here, I haven't heard anyone complaining about products simply labeled as "furry" being falsely advertised. I've heard lots of complaints about other business transactions at and around conventions, but not that. Then again, I haven't been to a con yet so maybe this happens all the time and mysteriously nobody talks about it online.

In the here-and-now, furry fandom does not need to concern itself with the idea of furry as a legal definition. And as I explained in earlier posts, neither does it have ANY need for furry to be defined in fixed terms. I still believe that by trying to create a fixed definition and then force it on others, that you are, a) doing a huge disservice to the variety of identities within furry fandom and to the unique nature in which furry represents identity, and b) completely wasting your time because most people do not want a fixed definition of furry and will just ignore you no matter what your influence in the fandom might be.

There's also the question of whether an external third party defining furry in the name of the fandom would even be a good thing at all. Do you really want a non-furry defining your identity and then authorising it as a LEGAL definition that could be used against you in a court of law? That sounds pretty scary to me. For one thing, they may not define furry in any way close to your own definition; they could make it all about the sex or the core identity and you wouldn't be able to do a thing about it.

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I didn't really care about the legal aspects.

Point was you can't use the same word with two different meanings and expect to have productive dialogue.

"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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You say that, but I would use this very conversation as disproof of that argument. I have learned so much about furry fandom in such a small space of time by talking to you guys that I would never have learned if the definition of furry wasn't challenged. The relation that furry fandom has with its own informal language is both revealing and fascinating.

I seriously think that if furry fandom set about trying to force a singular definition, it would rob the community of so much uniqueness and character for very little gain, if any at all.

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Learning is great but surely the main point of a language is communication. When people do not use words the same way then communication is impaired, sometimes made impossible.

For example, I'm now living in a German speaking country. I'm slowly learning the language and I have learned a lot both about German and about the other languages I speak (with varying levels of ability). However my ability to use German to communicate anything is still incredibly limited. So maybe I try tell someone something but get it wrong and learn about the difference between "dein" and "ihr" then I learned something but my original goal was not achieved.

"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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To me it sounds like you're making mountains out of molehills. Language is about communication, yes, but words and meanings have never been set in stone. Every year the dictionaries of the world update the meanings of words and phrases as languages change and evolve. A dictionary definition could be correct one year and then incorrect the next year. And despite all this, communication has not been rendered "impaired, sometimes made impossible". The solution to your problem is dirt-simple; if you don't understand what a word means, ask for clarification. A sentence to ask the question, a sentence to write a response, and then communication is restored. It's kind of like how you got clarification when you mixed up your German words. It's really not the big deal you're making it out to be.

A misunderstanding between two people does not make communication impossible, it just makes the conversation take longer while the two people work out the best way to communicate. Once that has been established, communication from thereon becomes more straightforward. For example, over the course of this thread, I realised labeling myself "zoomorphic" was a mistake because it didn't communicate anything of value and instead actively confused people. So now I don't use it anymore; I just say "core-identity furry" because the conversation thus far has heavily focused on the nature of furry as a core identity and there is a general understanding of what that means. And voila! There we have a basic example of language changing to render more useful meanings and make communication easier.

So let me now ask you a question: If you create a definition of furry that does not communicate anything of value to half the people who consider themselves furry, have you now made communication easier or harder for furry fandom?

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The best way for two people to communicate at length with each other about the use of language would probably be via instant messenger, Flayrah's private messages feature, or email… not in the comments. :-)

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Fair enough then. I don't think there's much more to gain by continuing anyway. However this discussion on language would have ended, I stand by the fact that an unhelpful definition is just going to be ignored.

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"Furry is a community made up of two general groups; people with an interest in media that features cartoon or anthropomorphic animals, and people who embrace animal attributes as a core part of their physical or spiritual identities."

I have a son whose answer to almost every question is "it can be both." I think that applies to your definition - except that "it can be both" for the same person.

- Joe

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Absolutely. I only made the distinction because, well, other people in furry fandom seem to be keen on the distinction. This entire thread wouldn't have existed if someone hadn't told me that I wasn't furry.

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No one told you you weren't furry.

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

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I agree with a lot of what you're saying, especially "an increasingly permissive society that understands the importance of personal and sexual self-expression" - but I disagree with "hardly anyone has a furry identity in their biology."

I truly think it's possible there is a furry "gene" somewhere in our DNA that makes us more receptive (or connects us emotionally or in our self identity) to anthropomorphism. Maybe they should put an "F" on the end of "LGBT" (or expand "T" to include "transpecies"!)

- Joe

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It's certainly a possibility; interest in humanised animals (or animalised humans) is pretty universal across the world and throughout history. I simply meant that there's currently no reference point for other people to empathise with my experience. If I was to say, "I feel like a man", at least half the population could empathise because male gender identity is so common and understood. But if I was to say, "I view animal forms as an extension of my humanity.", that's not something most people would immediately understand.

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I really hope this is an example of Poe's law...

"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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Thank God for the internet - I'd never heard of Poe's law before, but now I'm better educated...

Sorry but I *was* being (more or less) serious - if not a gene, I truly think there's something inherent in furs' psychology that makes us more receptive to the idea of anthropomorphic animals than the population in general. The vast majority of furs I've ever spoken to were like myself, into anthropomorphism before they discovered the fandom existed (including Video)

- Joe

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I'm now definitely agreeing with you because of something I just realised about myself and furry. One of the big questions that I've been trying to answer for a while is, "If furry is an extension of my human identity, then why does my brain engage more with an anthro animal character like Nick Wilde than with a zoomorphic human like Sabretooth from X-Men?" Even taking into account the fact that zoomorphic humans in fiction tend to emphasise the threatening, predatory attributes of animals (but not always, like the monkey kid in Jumanji), my brain should have some level of interest in zoomorphic humans as well as anthro animals.

But then I realised, this is not just a quirk of my furry identity; this is a quirk of human nature in general. Throughout the world and throughout history, both furries and non-furries alike have had a universal interest in seeing animals walk and talk like humans. But the interest in zoomorphic humans is not nearly as universal in either camp. If there's a causality between the universal appeal of anthro animals and core furry identity, that would explain a lot about where core furry identity comes from.

PS: Another quick thought. You know it's often said that cats and dogs see their human owners as being just another kind of cat/dog? Do you ever wonder if core-identity furries do the same thing with animals to some extent?

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Dominic makes it quite clear that the movie is not an objective portrayal but his personal viewpoint of what the fandom is:

"I had to be selfish and focus on what really mattered to me which is furry as an identity and as a community."
"I wanted to do [...] something I cared about."
"The movie is my take on the fandom."

There's also a linked article above titled "Dominic talks to fellow filmmakers about his transition from supposedly-objective observer to participant in Fursonas," where he asserts that his documentary cannot be objective, no documentary can be objective, that no matter what, the creator's viewpoint is in there.

The movie was made by a single person who chooses what material is ultimately featured. I have not seen any indication that the movie offers viewpoints outside the selective remarks of the author and the few others interviewed. And I think that Dominic's remark - that smart viewers will understand that the movie supposedly doesn't represent the fandom but just those few people - is not only self-contradicting, but a rather poor prediction.

If furries show up calling themselves furries to talk about being furry, then they exemplify furries. That connection, even if only subconsciously, will be made by many attentive viewers, to say nothing of the inattentive ones. Dominic could have completely avoided use of the "furry" label and any allusions to the fandom, but I don't think Dominic could keep his viewers from making that subconscious connection even then, even if he tried. Let's just see how people who have watched Fursonas will respond to fursuiters at the next bowling meetup.

Of course, we don't really know until people actually watch the thing, do we? Perhaps the world will get a show about an uncomfortable yet unbiased representation of the fandom or, at best, no representation of the fandom at all. Personally, I don't think the fandom will be so lucky.

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I know what the movie is like because I have watched it. I was at the premiere. And I can tell you for a fact that people in the movie talk about the very fact that many other furries are going to be upset that these people are appearing on screen and "representing the furry fandom." Comments like these are proving their point.

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People who haven't seen it with an audience are really smogging up the comments here. I organized a meet to screen it.

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And how'd people react? I have yet to see a negative reaction from someone who's actually watched the thing.

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With about 3 days notice we did the impossible, secured a screening venue in the most expensive city. They wanted us. We packed the house. Dominic did a q&a after and both of us suited up. From what i recall people were intensely curious and into it. One con staffer spoke up provactively to defend kage. Dominic gave a very reasonable response. I heard nothing else but high praise after.

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When is the release?

iTunes has it as available for pre-order, with release next Monday night U.S. time - it's currently $12.99 HD, $9.99 SD.

I sure can't wait for my coworkers to see that movie and start wondering how many animal dildos I must own.

Well, now I'm curious! Perhaps a suitable topic for a future poll? I recall this one being popular.

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Seeing as how my Kentucky Derby poll is both limited time and going over like lead balloon ... you guys got until tomorrow to come up with something better.

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I don't use iTunes, and they have country restrictions anyway I believe.

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Back when I could make virgin jokes about myself, oh the nostalgia.

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Maybe it helps to put things in perspective. There are a lot of people getting upset at how non-furs will see furs after this and what is and isn't being portrayed. But you could ask yourself how many documentaries you go out and see. And how many documentaries you go to see about something you aren't interested in. Chances are the people that will see this are a small group that support niche films, furries and people that watch documentaries and can see beyond the surface. If that's the case this will have little to no impact outside the fandom itself.

"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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When explaining what furry is to a new audience, I feel it's just as importaint to explain where furry comes from. It's difficult to understand the present if you don't know the past; the trends and characteristics of our fandom did not magically appear out of nothing.

It's fascinating how it started as a merge between Funny-Animal and Science Fiction fandom, how it changed and evolved with the advent of bulletin boards, MUCKs, online art sites and media coverage. It's also worth noting how the more modern flavours of social media has affected the furry community in later years.

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One of the great things about a "furry movie" is that it inherently invites participation. People want to go with fursuits and see them. That's why I thought a furry film festival was a great idea and kept writing articles about it... this movie would be a suitable headliner. There are also fiction and animated movies that would suit.

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I'd really like to see that documentary myself, because that's what fascinates me most about the furry fandom - the fact that it exists at all. This just wasn't that documentary.

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Thanks, Jen Yamoto; someone who actually gets it.

Another fun fact: furries, like 98 percent of film critics on Rotten Tomatoes, love Zootopia!

I was thinking more Kage was the guy with the beard from The King of Kong, though.

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I kind of question her liberal use of the word "abusive" though when describing Kage; I mean unless we're talking about to his own liver! :)

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She compared him to the head of Scientology, and you're quibbling about "abusive"?

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That article is terrible. Sensationalism in the opposite direction. Comparing this to a cult and hyping up the supposed cult leader with faux concern while also overemphasizing kink. She's playing both sides behind pretend-reasonableness.

But this isn't a cult and Kage isn't a cult leader. He doesn't control anyone's lifestyle or money or force them to do anything weird in everyday life, he just runs Anthrocon and gets to talk a lot. I can't speak for Dominic/Video but I doubt even he would say this accurately portrays the intention of his movie. The movie was actually gentle on Kage.

Personally I have nothing against Kage. I LOVE what he did with getting a parade on the street. I think the movie is great and it's great that it points out a tendency for paradoxical group conformity over individuality. But all Kage represents is a tendency, not "abuse". WTF! The worst thing I read in that article is that he just banned Dominic from Anthrocon for no real reason except censoring. Oh, well, he can go to other cons.

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To me, the article itself didn't seem nearly as sensational as the clickbait headline. He admits in it that Kage might have good reason for what he's doing. I just appreciated that the writer mentioned the diversity of the subjects in the movie.

I mean, to quote the actual article text (emphasis mine):

With a relentlessly menacing magnetism, he comes off as both father figure and punisher to his congregation: the David Miscavige of the furry fandom.

I did suspect when I first watched the film that someone unfamiliar with Kage's theatrics would have this kind of reaction. It's hard to argue that he doesn't seem like a psychopath, if you don't realize he's playing it up for laughs. But I also don't feel that the "character" he plays is any excuse.

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She, man, she.

Article author is clearly a woman.

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I know, I was referring to Dominic there.

Uncle Kage, Rodriguez admits, may have been forced into his protectionist bubble after being burned one too many times by bad press over the past two decades. But he believes the furry leader is more harmful than helpful to the furries of today.

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Whoops.

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Haven't seen it yet, so I withhold my comments about the film itself.

Though I will say it was just put out there by an article in the Daily Beast that Dominic Rodriguez, the furry producer on the film, was banned by Anthrocon:

"Earlier this week, Rodriguez confides, he discovered that he’d been officially banned from the upcoming Anthrocon in June when he tried to register his name on the event website. That’s OK, he said. There are plenty of other furry conventions, like Reno’s Biggest Little Fur Con, where he’ll be next week."

Wonder what the board's reasoning was in this decision.

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Violation of the code of conduct agreed to by the filmmaker when he joined Anthrocon as a member.

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Sounds about right

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I'm really curious about the time frame of this. Is there something in the movie that was supposedly him breaking a rule at the con? Or is this a thing where if someone goes to Anthrocon once, they're a member forever, so like 4 years of making a movie on his own time all belong to the con? Is there a hidden clause about them owning your soul now too?

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Could be more about acting as a member of the media and recording for commercial purposes without prior permission, or refusing to take down allegedly disparaging material on request.

Bans are often used to curtain disruptive or impulsive behaviour. They sometimes work quite well for this purpose. They do not work well when people are willing to spend years on a passion project.

Likewise, a shut-out might work for the commercial news media, but action against fan media is counterproductive; it just hardens their attitude, while not stopping them from doing what they're going to do. They just look for different ways to do it.

Many who are serious about documenting the fandom won't follow the conditions Anthrocon and some other conventions wish to place on them; and you don't need to film at cons to do a reasonable piece on furries, particularly if you're a) in the fandom, and b) talking about a limited-purpose public figure, involved in key decisions and debates, who regularly posts hours of video.

This particular kind of commentary is interesting because it speaks to people both inside and outside the fandom, and because it is, in part, about a particular person and organization, rather than using one of those organizations as an example of the fandom. Perhaps the best individuals can hope for when they're the subject is being able to put their own position in their own words, on fair-play grounds; but if you cut off lines of communication when people aren't willing to play by your rules, that's unlikely to happen.

It doesn't help when your own words are part of the issue. At that point you can either stand by them, or reconsider your position. I think either of those would have been preferable to what actually happened, which was a futile attempt to squelch promotion.

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And it also works against them because now they have a literal tag line for the film:

"See the film that got the producer banned from their fandom's largest convention."

Of course, that tag line will only work for 2 more years, because at that point MFF will be the largest.

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ahem Banned in Boston

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Nowadays it might as well be "banned by PayPal".

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You can say that to them! If I ever get the chance to talk to the Uncle himself, it's something I'd like to address. But he probably won't want to address it.

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So was the film reviewed by the board then and if so what segments were in violation of the code?

This is an essential question to answer so that future attendees know where the lines of media is defined.

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As far as I know, Uncle Kage wanted the right to edit the final cut, choose which recordings of the Anthrocon / him could and could not appear, and that was a requirement to film in the convention. I don't know at which point Video refused the agreement, either before or after having recorded, but Video's lawyer responded to Kage by saying this demand is a violation of the creative rights of the film maker, at which point Kage did not continue further communications with him.

The decision to ban Video from Anthrocon would be based on violating / dissenting to the terms of this agreement.

The lines media can and cannot cross are normally defined on a case-by-case basis (besides general rules), especially when we're talking about such a zealous board in regards to media.

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I think the question of "when" was answered by Video in a recent Salon.com interview:

How did you get the approval to make this documentary?

It was not approved by Anthrocon. The Anthrocon media policy is that if you are going to shoot [footage] there, you have to show the finished film to the board of directors. They recommend changes, and if you don’t make those changes you have to take that Anthrocon footage out. We didn’t, because we disagree with that policy. It’s against the rule, but it’s not against the law. We’re not looking to make the furries or the convention look bad. Scenes of Uncle Kage at the convention are available on YouTube for free. We weren’t sneaking around; we wanted to show what was right in front of our faces.

I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall bumping into Video at Anthrocon 2013 as he shot some footage by the DLCC windows overlooking the river; I forget whether he had a media badge on (I was busy handing out fliers at the time, as I lacked a table).

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If the rule can't be enforced, I don't see how it's adequate to have it. Choosing to follow it would be entirely up to the media. And... well it makes the staff look kind of assholes.

I don't think any legitimate media with means would feel threatened by that rule. 'Yeah yeah we agree' and then you show whatever you want, because you have the journalistic right to. But of course you let them know you don't give a fuck after having the footage.

It was some greymuzzle experienced in organizing cons, Flip, who said (here): "Convention staff is there to mostly identify and inform, not enforce." "With a realistic understanding of how power flows [...] it seems easy to conclude that staff cannot enforce behavior. This statement is alien to most furry conventions, but is the basis of good relations for many conventions."

If I believe a point I want to address in the fandom is important enough, such as the one Video wanted to address, I might be glad to be banned from a con in exchange for my passion project, as you say GreenReaper. Even more important, these rules hurt furry fans a lot more than regular media, because regular media certainly gives less of a fuck if they're banned after-the-fact from a con.

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This is a great comment... on the one hand Dominic's point is kind of being made by a ban. On the other it's not exactly dictating if they've been put in the position of needing to be strict and then they can't just look the other way. Who to blame the most -society, man! If furries werent a target it wouldn't be such an issue.

That's why I take issue with Kage being compared to a cult leader. I totally sympathise with the movie of course. I just understand he's doing a job and believe he does have his heart in the right place, he's human and humans make mistakes (including the trans species ones.) IMO the judgement that happens against certain furries seems to represent community tendencies more than one guy's domination.

What dominic did to get his movie out seems legit to me because he also has his heart in tbe right place. Just sad that it involved a dilemma of choice. Think of pirate radio vs the fcc or local farm/craft food vs the FDA. It's not bad to have food regulation it's bad that it's shaped by the big process against the individual.

Gonna be some interesting news to come about promotion of his movie.

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Well, that and the whole "if Kage is analogous to the leader of Scientology ... hey, wait a minute, does that make furries analogous to Scientologists?"

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YUP :) as in, "no"

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In a statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kage is reported to have said that none of Anthrocon's directors have seen Fursonas "in its entirety" (the Post-Gazette's phrasing):

“The filmmakers declined our repeated requests to view it, and there have been no screenings local to any board member’s home,” he wrote in an email. “Based on the clips, reviews and articles that have appeared online, however, the film appears to portray the filmmakers’ own perspectives and predilections as opposed to presenting a balanced overview of our community.”

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Using the same clips ,interviews and articles, I have the same feelings.

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I'm FUCKING triggered!
Dominik Rodriguez - FUCK you! You greedy scandalmongering POS!

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What precisely was it about the movie that you didn't like?

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That sad moment when someone posts anonymously but you have a good hypothesis on whom they probably are c.c

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Welcome to my relationship with desiring_change!

Though he seems to be taking a break; I predicted he'd re-appear in April last time he popped up, and it's May and the only one stars I'm getting are in this thread and everyone's angry, so that's not him. Maybe, after five years, he finally got bored, or got over it, or, I don't know, got hit by a car or something.

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I can downvote you if you want. My comment had 5 stars. Then somebody gave it 1 star. I'm guessing it was the same person that posted about how people were being mean to Kage and Kage does nothing wrong.

Also, over 100 comments in not even 2 days. Isn't that some sort of record?

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

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I think it is.

I'm betting it's the BvS of comment sections, though. Great opening weekend, losing to Zootopia in a couple months.

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Oh, and, hey, speaking of "where'd that commenter go", where'd Cassidy go?

Seriously, triple digits and not a peep; I'm still not seeing Angry Birds. She called it.

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Im here, trust me. Just not a lot for me to comment something interesting on so I've held back.

Did you miss me?

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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Hmmm, may have to eat my words here; Guy Lodge kind of liked it, and I kind of like Guy Lodge. So, wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the best reviewed video game adaptation of all time. Since Ratchet & Klank's debut, Rotten Tomatoes listed all previous video game adaptations (they might have missed a few, but not many); not a single one was fresh, so "best reviewed video game adaptation" is not a high bar to clear, by any means (it was a good run, Mortal Kombat), but I'm saying it may not suck, after all.

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If I'm being 100% honest here, there's not really whole lot this year that I'd try beat crowd to the theaters to see. I'm definitely skipping the super hero stuff, and besides animation there's not a lot that I'm looking forward to. So I hope my trips to the cinema are worth it. XD

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Hype building for Rock Dog :D

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"I'm FUCKING triggered! Dominik Rodriguez - FUCK you! You greedy scandalmongering POS!"

Desiring_Change did not write this -- and I, desiring_change, should know!

Seriously, when have I ever used the word "triggered" or other such SJW talk?

Oh, and Crossie? Fuck off.

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Nobody said you were anonymously posting; Sonious (not me) is implying 2 is posting anonymously. I only mentioned you to say you weren't posting. Also, pretty sure the guy, 2 or not, is saying "triggered" ironically (which is pretty 2-ish).

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Also, good job not getting hit by a car, I guess.

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Oh goody, another 1-star rating I can give!

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So, I submitted the Jen Yamoto/Daily Beast article to a movie forum, and the reaction was one forum's-equivalent-of-an-upvote. Meanwhile, the fun "here's betting odds on who wins Captain America: Civil War" article I submitted at the same time has doubled my lifetime forum's-equivalent-of-downvotes, so, that wasn't what I was expecting, at all (I guess they were all Captain America fans; the article favored Iron Man 4 to 1). Neither article garnered any actual discussion.

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What a roundabout way to say "I wanted to make a documentary about lifestylers".

Which is not a bad thing in itself, but... cannot we just be more honest and to-the-point?

Also, not watching anything with dragon dildos in it.

Well, I'll be...

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This is more of a reply to both Patch and Video.

Both of you seem to be in good company because you both engage in taking personal opinion or vision and applying a sweeping generalization to the entire fandom. For example this documentary, Patch claim about this documentary and Patch’s reporting, in the Dog Patch Press, somehow the San Francisco club culture is a mecca, i.e. center for furry fandom. ( I am amused by Patch’s ad hominem response to my SF comment).
As I think about it this the crux of furry media and other areas of the fandom: too narrow of a focus and sweeping generalizations . I been a furry for 9 years now. one thing I know the fandom is a diverse with different groups and views from evangelical Christians to atheist, yet at times we can come to together to enjoy the fandom and each other. One person cannot say this is the whole of the fandom, we are not all fursuiters, we are all not lGBT, we are al not evangelical Christians, we are all not 20 somthings , ( I seen a video channel of a eight and eleven year old fursuters in the UK). Still we are all furries.
If one wants to do a documentary on the fandom, one can focus on a single aspect but make clear this is just one side of the fan and don’t’ say this the whole fandom. If one want to make documentary on the whole fandom the one cannot concentrate on a few extreme examples but a wide audience from SF club seen, East coast, Midwest furs, the cast of the Funday Pawpet Show to the cast of Waggztail and Tycho Aussie talk about fur and faith and family friendly aspect. aspect
It seems to me beside the Video’s perceived Hollywood ego, the focus is not objective, fair to the fandom or accurate. I hope I wrong but I have to wait t ill Netflix picks it up.

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Do you have a publication where I can learn more diverse news about that closet where you and Hello Kitty stay? she has no mouth and she must scream...

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It is under ad hominem next to loaded question.
I think you are trying to refer to I Have No Mouth but I Must Scream; it as truthful to Hello Kitty as Pleasure of the Fur to Furry Fandom.

If you are serious:
http://www.amazon.com/Pink-Globalization-Kittys-across-Pacific/dp/0822353636

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No dude, looking for your publication of diverse stories from the special ed wing of the fandom. If you're having trouble, send a guest post and I can help you get started.

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Oh you want take this off Flayrah. Why don't you say so in plain English without name calling or insults. But I will not sink to your level.
Warning my grammar is not as good as yours.

right here

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No Acton, I don't want to go in your closet. It smells like halitosis and insecurity. And you don't have to keep throwing that shameful grammar in our faces. Nobody needs to see that, especially not kids. Can you please keep it to yourself?

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I do not know what your game is but I am not amused we wasting space here.

For the rest, please forgive me wasting space here I should had seen I was feeding a troll not engaging a person interested in dialoging.

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Actually, Patch, you are a guest here, and you're getting a bit mean (remember 'what would my 'free hugs' shirt do'?) to the other guests, so maybe you prefer your place instead?

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Or, I don't know, we got a new article, you can start fresh there at least so at least everybody can see you berate other commenters.

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(After looking at the article). Well you gotta know who's writing the article, that's why proper journalistic articles are signed by the author... It's fabulous Patch O'Furr we're talking about here... it makes perfect sense San Francisco Bay Area would be the Furry Mecca to him.

It's like you're criticizing Stephen Colbert for pointing out Catholicism as practiced by the Irish is the true religion. I'm an atheist and I find that amusing.

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I mentioned this in a Fur Affinity thread, but Salon had their own interview with Video -

http://www.salon.com/2016/05/06/the_lion_king_is_an_extraordinarily_sexual_film_...

(I'm pretty sure he was referring to me when he said "A furry who interviewed me thinks Chew Fox was delighting in upsetting furries, and that’s wasn’t obvious to me at all.")

Anyway, thought you folks might be interested in the comments at the end of THAT interview, mostly from non-furs:

Blue Suede Shoes
It's not something that appeals to me personally, but what consenting adults want to do behind closed doors is their own business.

Charlotte Lipson
Stories like this always remind me of Jerzy Kozinski's remark to the effect that in the small country he was from people with such fetishes would be ostracized and treated like disgusting deviants but in the U.S. there are large organizations which support them.

nothung
Fascinating maybe, but misunderstood? I don't think so.....

BeansNGreens
To each their own, but any furries who were real fur deserve to spend the night outdoors with their leg caught in a trap (maybe desperate to get home to feed their kids), or a week inside a tiny wire metal cage. We'll spare them the gruesome and painful deaths.

Somber
@BeansNGreens A fur suit costs between 500 and 4000 dollars using fake fur. I can't even estimate how much a
real fur suit would cost, nor can I think of any furry that would use it. Every fur I know, including myself, are animal lovers and environmentally concerned.

BeansNGreens
@Somber @BeansNGreens
That's reassuring to hear, but I do know that some furries like real fur, even if only parts like tails. Hopefully, they are a small minority.

blunderdog
That sounds interesting. I don't see anything stranger about being a furry than playing bridge "seriously."

be_real
ha ha ha... humans are amazing when left to be free and creative .

keck
uh...ok

CyclingFool
I'm not a furry and I thought "The Lion King" movie had real sexual content. When Simba and Nala mate, Nala shows genuine desire. As far as I know this was the first Disney movie where a strongly sexual female character wasn't also evil. Of course Nala was an animal, so it was okay. I await positive human female sexuality in Disney productions.

Piper909
I used to want an adult-size raccoon suit (like a gorilla suit I once owned) because I thought it would be a hoot for parties, Halloween, and general Pythonesque silliness (I wanted to take a series of funny photos showing "Raccoon Boy", Maurauder of the Night, knocking over neighborhood trash cans and climbing on roofs) , but now the urge has died, simply because I don't want to be mistaken for a mentally disturbed fetishist. Thanks for co-opting animal costumes and ruining things for the rest of us, "furries."

blunderdog
@Piper909
Wow. If you're hating on people for doing what you'd like to do but are now afraid to, I think your issue has nothing to do with animal costumes.

Somber
@Piper909 Again, you focus on the sex. That's something most furs don't do, ESPECIALLY in a suit. Simply put, sex is hot and sweaty work. Sex in a fur suit is sex in a heavy overcoat. Can you do it? Sure. Do most furries do it? Not even close. Most furries don't even fursuit, because it is an expensive and highly technical hobby. Me, I put a tail on a belt and wear a pair of cat ears and call it good.

***
Me again. This interview appeared late yesterday and new comments were popping up even as I C & V'd the ones above. (I may add one or two myself.)

I just realized the documentary mentioned Fur Affinity several times, but never got around to describing it in any way; something really brief like "the most popular website for furry art" would've covered it...but Video was very specific in my interview he didn't want to cover furry art in the documentary, so maybe that ommission was a way of doing that.

- Joe

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Another interview is up - in my opinion this writer did the best job of anyone yet at actually describing what the documentary is like, instead of just focusing on the most controversial subjects: https://www.inverse.com/article/15210-fursonas-documentary-illuminates-the-beaut...

Positivity is what makes Fursona such a revelatory watch for non-furries. Aside from Uncle Kage, the subjects of the documentary are sensitive, effervescent, and charming. Rodriguez did a fantastic job casting a wide net, highlighting a woman who balances being a furry with being a mother, and Varka, one of the furries who owns the famous furry sex toy company, Bad Dragon. That both sections of the film are equally engaging is a testament to both Rodriguez’s storytelling, and the transcendent humanity in the furry community. Whether a furry’s interests are childlike, or decidedly erotic, each member of the fandom comes off strikingly genuine when interviewed by Rodriguez.

I couldn't agree more.

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I would agree that as far as format goes this is the best non-furry article on it.

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Again, it begs the question: Is this a fandom - or is it merely fascism? :*/~

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Finally, someone has the balls to ask Video the really important question: "What did you think of Zootopia?"

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About fuckin' time.

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About the author

JoeStrike (Joe Strike)read storiescontact (login required)

a writer and Alligator from New York, NY, interested in cartoons, cartoons and more cartoons (both animated and drawn). also sci-fi/fantasy films and detective novels

Animation journalist, longtime fur and author of Furry Nation (the history of our fandom as the contemporary expression of the ancient human instinct to anthropomorphize the animal world). Furry Nation will be published in 2017.

I'm the real-life 'kid in a candy store' - the one my parents ran in Brooklyn until I was 13. I was marinated in the pop culture stew of comic books, Warner Bros & Fleischer cartoons on TV and kids' matinee films I saw every weekend. I've always had a love of animation and of characters like Bugs and Pepe LePew, and often wished I could join them in their world - a sign of incipient furriness right there.

I worked for years in TV promotion at Bravo and then Sci-Fi Channel before going freelance. Since then I've written about animation and sci-fi/fantasy films for mainstream publications and scripted an episode of the Nick Jr. TV series "Wow Wow Wubbzy!"

I blog under the name "The Miscweant" on the animation industry website awn.com. I've written the kids'/furry novel "The Incredible Hare" and host occasional audience-attended conversations with animation professionals at various NYC locations under the umbrella title "Interview with an Animator"

I didn't discover furry so much as furry discovered me via a flyer I received years ago, out of the blue for a 'furry party' at the Philcon sci-fi convention. No one had to explain it to me - I knew exactly what I was looking at and that I belonged there. I contributed to the furry 'zine Rowrbrazzle for years & now post on Fur Affinity.

So yeah, I've been part of the fandom since its earliest days - but don't call me a 'greymuzzle' or I'll punch you in *your* snout.