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Review of AshCoyote's Fandom documentary - Season 1

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (16 votes)

Ash.jpgA free to view documentary series, edited by Eric Risher and directed by Ash Kreis, was released on Kreis's Youtube channel AshCoyote. Her channel covers nonfiction topics of the furry fandom, while also doing streams of games of furry interest. Funnily since that’s the same kind of content my own channel covers it may seem strange that I’d want to promote their work, however in the non-fiction business it is important to encourage more sharing of information than less. Plus her production value is much higher.

Today we’re going to go over these seven videos. If you like these, then it you should consider throwing a few dollars toward their GoFundMe campaign to produce a full length picture about the fandom they plan on doing. It has 13 days left and is all or nothing, so they have to hit at least $20,000 to get any funding from the campaign. As of writing they don't have much more to go to reach that goal with over $18,000 raised at time of publication.

Episode 1: Introduction

We are introduced to many of those that were interviewed for this series in this segment and their take on why they are into the furry fandom. It's interesting to see the variety of situations that brought the people interviewed to the culture.

To get the elephant out of the room there is a clear issue that is apparent during these introductions. There are name cards under each person as they talk with titles signifying their roles in the fandom, which is great. But those same cards also highlight a large issue with the series. The sample set as far as diversity goes is good on the male to female ratio, but everything else seems a bit uniform. Particularly on their activities within the fandom. Everyone they interviewed here seems to be in one of three distinctive groups: a fursuiter, a fursuit maker, a Youtuber, or any combination of those three things.

The diversity issue has been something that has come up in many criticisms of the series and is something that AshCoyote has stated they wish to improve as the documentary continues. Particularly on their funded production.

Episode 2: Suits

Obviously by the title, this one goes over the fursuits, which given the plethora of suit makers and wearers gathered certainly makes this one of the series’s strongest episode on information. Syber and Ritz go over their experiences in being entrepreneur fursuit creators. They also go over the stresses, like creating something and then never seeing their work again, or the stress of running a small business and bills.

Then the suit wearers talk about their experiences as performers. They do go on to address that there are many in the fandom that don’t fursuit and that it isn’t important to everyone. Which is always good to remind the audience given the ratio of fursuit to skin in these episodes seems reversed from the normal.

Episode 3: International Furs

Given that Syberwulf ended the last episode on the note that she made fursuits for furs all around the world, going into the international community is a good transition. They introduce some new people here, and the focus does finally leave the fluff behind and get into more of the range of community in both geography and passions.

Most of the episode speaks with two individuals from Mexico. They both describe schisms within some Mexican towns surrounding the wearing of fursuits. Yvette infers that this is different in America where everyone is more accepting. However, I suspect that Yvette’s experiences with furry in America is limited to convention spaces. Her interview, judging by the door behind her, took place in the Embassy Suites hotel at Midwest Furfest in Rosemont, Illinois.

I would argue that America’s treatment of furry isn’t that much different than Kurtt’s statements about suiting in Mexico, who says the larger cities like Mexico City don’t have too much issue with it, but the smaller towns can be a bit more judgmental. So really in my mind no matter which side of the border you reside in, the acceptance factor will depend on context and geography.

It would be cool if they could expand this to more than just Mexico, and furs that are just well traveled, but to do that they’d have to reach their $40,000 stretch goal which is a bit of a tall order.

I wonder if TefPwoof, a furry from Hong Kong who wrote about a Chinese convention for us would be available for something like this? It seems like they disappeared from FurAffinity, and haven't written anything since. So probably not.

Episode 4 - Youtube

Obviously this was a very well received video on the platform and despite being the fourth episode in the series is their third most popular by views. All the other videos follow a standard episodic decent in viewership. Lots of furry Youtubers tend to be fursuiters (spoiler alert), though Beta isn't one currently, he will be one shortly.

The YouTubers go over the positives and negatives of being public facing, and how they use their community to deal with and discuss their anxieties and issues. The usage of BetaEtaDelota’s growth from cynical videos to his more uplifted views of the community as a book-end for the episode was clever.

Episode 5 - Identity

This one goes into the personal sides of dealing with difficulties and social stigmas with personal identity. This one has a good mix with those that are gay, bi, and one fierce drag queen— who is the one that bookends this segment. Once again I am noticing that there is the progression of the book-ending individual from more hesitant at the start to letting go in the end (like Beta in Episode 4).

It was interesting to hear from the women on how they deal with some issues of feeling outcast within furry groups. One artist stating that they had dealt with a customer that didn’t want to buy from her because she was a women. This kind of was surprising to me as when I’ve walked around large dealer dens and artist allies, there is a healthy sampling of women. Usually the female to male ratio is higher here than in any other groups within the community. This is enforced by Syber’s notes that many furry business are run by females.

Personally when I find it hard to socialize, I tend to throw myself into my work as well.

Episode 6 - Religion in the Fandom [Christianity]

By far the most interesting episode to me. Religion is usually one of those topics in the fandom that aren’t discussed too frequently in open air. Unfortunately those in the mainstream religious community tend to be judgmental of those who are eccentric, so many furries tend to have negative connotations when it comes to the organizations around the worship of the divine. In before Rakuen's long comment featuring Charles Hitchens!

One oddity for this episode is that the intro card on the video says “Religion” where the Youtube’s title is "Christianity". But given that other religions don’t get much coverage here such as Paganism, Islam, and the like, I can see why they changed the name post-production. But it does give it a bit of an identity crisis. Perhaps the goal of this episode was directed at the mainstream religion of the United States in particular, wanting to prove that just because you are fur doesn't mean you're godless. So they didn’t want to muddy the waters that our fandom would be just as welcoming to a Muslim as a Christian, if but in a don’t ask don’t tell kind of way.

This episode finally goes more into the art aspect of the fandom with their guest Jonathan Vair Duncan. The first person presented to have neither the word ‘fursuit’ or ‘Youtuber’ in their title. Given that furry Youtubers have a platform where they can discuss their perspectives with the world, having the documentary bring in people outside those circles, while difficult, I feel would make for an experience you can’t get just by watching other videos on the social video sharing site. This episode is the proof in the pudding that this is the case.

Though in that same vein a good chunk of the video goes over their work as an artist and may be a bit off topic in a video about religion. However, that’s the tricky thing with identity; religion and fandom activities are two part of the whole of the individual in question and you have to have both together. Showing their artwork tied them with the fandom, so that when they talked about their trials and use of religion to overcome their mortal faults it gives Jonathan a rounder identity.

By the way, I’m sure Jonathan is very glad he dodged the bullet on not accepting the Blizzard job since Activision merged with it. Haven’t heard much good about the employment situations at large gaming studios lately.

This is the strongest episode of the series to me, as it is not a topic that is covered frequently. It gives something you won’t find most other places while maintaining respect of people in the in-group and out-group. Hopefully if they expand on this they could find those of more varying faiths in the future.

Speaking of which.

Episode 7: The Future

The conclusion talks about the future of the fandom, particularly questioning their guests on what some of the things that furries as a community can do better. One of the big underlying questions is discussed on how you control a community to not inflict reputation damage or harm, but also not over-regulate so that creativity and unusual identities can shine. How does one strike that difficult balance? The guests have different takes that run in opposition to each other about how hard or soft you go on slights.

Not too much to comment here. These are items I cover too much as it is.


Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (9 votes)

I have been watching this but I haven't seen the last three episodes yet as I was hosting my sister. I had intended to do a similar write-up once I had finished but I guess I'll just give a comment now.

This review seems really neutral, I would've been a bit more critical. I like the production value, this series was basically flawless on that account. Everything is shot and edited well. But, aside from minor issues with the specific topics, the whole series suffers from some very serious drawbacks which lead me to doubt its use as a documentary.

There is no narration at all, we only see clips from the furs being interviewed. There is a certain charm to that but a narrator would've been able to add direction and take us on a journey. In many of the videos, I got the sense that we were just wandering blindly for the duration with no real purpose or goal. With no direction, no take away message there is no way to really order the information in importance.

Secondly, and again something which would be solved with narration, I wonder how representative anything that is presented actually is. We hear from several people which is standard for a documentary but The Fandom never bothers to put anything in context. Interviewee comments are not followed up or compared with any external source of data. It's nice to know hear what someone's experience is but is that relevant to the majority of the fandom?

It looks great but, as the episodes progressed, it felt more and more empty. The problems are not insolvable but, at present, I doubt its value as a documentary. Perhaps the second version will improve on those aspects but given the emphasis the Kickstarter project seems to be placing on who is interviewed, I'm not sure that will be the case. I liked the idea but there are far better sources of information out there.

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

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (7 votes)

I can understand where Rakuen is coming from. The issue could be the format of short videos that do not allow time for development and narration. The first problem of the series was the videos were more about furuiters than the fandom, even heads were statically placed what the person was out of suit out of suit the.

The second issue was the video on religion. Now as a defense of Eric Risher and Ash Kreis, the issue is the Religion vs. Spirituality debate. I know many spiritual pagans but many do not express their spirituality in furry media like some in the Christian Furs community, for example some or expresses their faith in furry art or music videos. I do take issue as a brother in Christ of Hund the Hound and Beagleinred comments that seem to be looking down and disparagingly on Christians who take a more orthodox view of scriptures. Soon after, I did find and join the Facebook page Hund referred to and I did not find people who tried too hard.

Your rating: None Average: 1.4 (7 votes)

There you go folks; the maxim "there's not such thing as bad publicity" in action.

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (9 votes)

Why do we need another one of these damned documentaries?
Didn't Risher's first one do enough? Oh... insecurity

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (6 votes)

Validation issues.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

Yup, the longstanding issue as you say..

Your rating: None Average: 1 (5 votes)

It's annoying and discouraging to younger members to see older members behave like this.

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (8 votes)

Its annoying and discouraging to older members when newbies come along and position themselves as experts, such as by making documentaries, while ignoring what's come before.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (5 votes)

Okay so where is your documentary?

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

If you can do everything you have an opinion on, you must be an amazing person.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (6 votes)

You have experiences you want shared, it's your job to share them.

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (4 votes)

^^^ This

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (4 votes)

The guys behind this must be like in their late-twenties. Stigmata is 30. Not exactly "newbie".

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

"Newbie" has nothing to do with age. I could join Avengers or Lucifer fandoms right now and I'd be a newbie/noob even tho I am far older than 30 and have a familiarity with the franchises due to the comics.

As far as furrydom goes, the majority of furry fans weren't even born when I discovered furry. The 30 year olds were 1. The web wasn't even in existence, just usenet and the various BBS systems that had to be dialed into. So 90% of the current fandom is newbies to this graymuzzle wolverine. XD XD XD

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

It's kinda obvious you're complaining about a lack of respect for the way things used to be done "in muh day!!". My only response to you is... why should people growing up now have respect?

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (4 votes)

My real point is these close-to-30-something guys look desperate and bad to high-school aged boys. They offer no positives to boys with fetishes and a love of soft animals coming after them, leaving the next generation to figure shit out on their own all over again.

(And you your own generation sucked at reaching out to my generation for our experiences and desires. You just grumble about the way you remember things not getting respect like it's our fault. Your remarks about us being newbies who weren't born when you knew all the places are subtle insults.)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Not a boy and don't know why you brought up fetishes.

The age stuff was me ragging on my age vs what you said about the other furry's age in claiming they're not a newbie, thus the text emojis. Clearly, I did not do that well and I am sorry for the insult.

If by 'my generation' you mean Xers, you'd be correct that I am one, and minus the odd fetish comment have an interesting point I haven't thought about. But if you were assuming I'm a Boomer, it wouldn't apply. They pretty much just drag on *everyone* younger than them.

Your rating: None Average: 1.2 (5 votes)

Do not get me started on age bashing. Both of you can it now.

your elder.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

He literally just said you, by virtue of being older, owe it to him to "teach him the ways of kink" or some shit because apparently that's the entirety of what the fandom is for. Just think about that for a min.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

What are you talking about? How is attempting to make a documentary looking desperate? And what do you mean no positives? It just seems weird, especially since the point of a documentary is that people don't have to figure things out again but get the information on what happened before.

Zhora's grumbles had nothing to do with respecting previous ways. It was simply that if people are going to make a documentary or give a history of something then they need to do the work of actually looking up what has been done before and making sure what they say is accurate. The age/newbies thing isn't an insult, it's reality. If someone has been in the fandom for years, they lack experience and probably knowledge. If they then start talking about things without learning about the past, they will probably not understand why things are now done a certain way, what motivated that or what has been tried and found not to work in the past.

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

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

It is embarrassing. I see so much of this community hype around one of these documentaries getting made about them—that they are going to get represented "right" this time. It comes off desperate. Not even sister groups like gaming and anime behave this desperately for a documentary to validate themselves.

You don't see high-status hobbies like golf spend this much hype over documentaries about golf. Golfers are spending all their time just enjoying the thing they enjoy.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

How do you hype golf though? It's boring as fuck. I think that's supposed to be the point. That and to give old people a sport they can be good at to feel good about themselves.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

Why does it need to be hyped?—why can't it just stay grounded.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

I think that shows where the lack of experience shows. Golf wouldn't care about documentaries as much because, as you noted, it's already a high-status hobby. The furry fandom is not high status and, particularly in the past, the times it did get mainstream attention it was mostly negative or focussed on more controversial aspects.

There was a lot of concern about the fandom's reputation as it was still struggling to grow and establish itself. There was a 2003 episode of CSI that focussed on the sexual aspect of the fandom which upset a lot of furs. It's 16 years later and you will still find furs that are upset about it. And was other backlash against furs who dared to talk to the media, whether well-intentioned or not. ChewFox appeared on the Tyra Banks show in 2009 and talked about fursuit sex. That got her a huge amount of hate and banned from FurAffinity. Those are the two big ones that I recall but there were many other, similar incidents.

Over time, the fandom's relationship with the media has improved and there are now more, and more accurate, portrayals of the fandom. And so furs who are new just think its normal to have the occasional documentary or interview on TV or whatever. That is a huge departure from how things used to be when there were, implicit and explicit, rules about not ever talking to the media about the furry fandom.

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

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (6 votes)

Nobody watches these documentaries besides furries themselves.

The issue you face is not "negative mainstream attention", the issue is the abuse placed on boys for being into soft animals, for being "kissless virgins".

This doesn't just come from the mainstream, it comes from other geeky groups like anime and gaming.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

...No, no it isn't.

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

Your rating: None Average: 1 (4 votes)

You are in deep denial.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

No. I was explaining to you why people care about this and why new furs might not understand. Then you come pulling some other issue out of nowhere which has nothing to do with anything under 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~

Your rating: None Average: 2 (5 votes)

Boys universally are deprived of empathy. A documentary isn't going to make anyone give a fuck about your love of soft animals.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

What flavor of men's rights activism is this

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

As these things go, "boys love of soft animals" just not doing it for me as a definition of furry either.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Well, plushies have always been there in the fandom. It's been forever since I've seen someone be so singularly obsessed with the issue of plushophile acceptance as opposed to just furry acceptance in general though. Almost reminds me of this guy on SoFurry forums who was obsessed with his lost foreskin and having it restored, seeing it as the singular root cause of all his other issues.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

Is that what he meant by "soft animals"? Plushies? I thought it was just a bizarrely somatosensory description of anthropomorphic mammals.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Hath not a plush fur? Ears? Paws? Eyes? Hugs? If you squeeze us, do we not squeak? If you rip us, do we not bleed? And if you fail to love… shall we not revenge?

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Yeah, I wasn't gonna say it because I guess arguably that's kind of a dubious accusation based on just talking about how boys are deprived of empathy, which I think in a general sense has a lot of truth to it, but I did kinda get those vibes after checking out that Change.Org petition he linked to on his account(s). I admittedly can't make too strong a judgment call because this is literally the first time I've ever heard of such a thing as "forced penetration", that is, a woman somehow forcing a man to get an erection and fuck her under duress. So it's hard for me to sit here and say that's simply impossible. But it must be pretty fucking rare at least.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

I don't know how much value there would be in getting too deep into that subject here and now, but I think it'd be pretty shitty to let that hang there like that, so I gotta address it.

Last year, Archives of Sexual Behavior published a study on "sexually aggressive" strategies used by women against men, with a special focus on forced-to-penetrate cases. It included a literature review as well. It's open access, so you can probably easily find the whole thing by searching "archives of sexual behavior forced to penetrate", but the basic summary was:

  • It is possible to become erect and even ejaculate against one's will
  • There is a lack of research into prevalence
Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

"Force" can also involve a spectrum of behavior including manipulation and coercion, con games, blackmail, or physical abuse by-proxy that involves third parties. Direct female-on-male physical abuse tends to happen against children the most I think, but unequal strength also gets compensated by weapons (see Phil Hartman as a sad example). Chiming in from seeing/fighting horrifying con-game abuse by a powerful guy.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

Fursonas won a Slamdance award and was written about in Variety.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

They also won the Anthrocon "See ya" award.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Just from the niche size of the fandom and the grudge/stigma dance with the media, I don't think a documentary can go in deeply without blurring or breaking restriction. Whether formal (Anthrocon's) or informal (the protesting about CNN that ended up being unfounded and counterproductive.) If one does that and the results are good, it can wear the repercussions as a badge of honor. Many great documentaries get made that way.

By size I mean that everyone knows everyone here and restriction can be sort of monopolistic. See the IARP (Furscience) having some role as doing research about the fandom and PR at the same time. Why - because few people do, it's small. And that's not to criticize them either, I think they do a good job, it's just good to keep in mind the limits of what they can do. Imagine a feedback-loop rising from control of PR, and then fans responding in the way that "serves the fandom". I love reading about their results though, they are great and nice people too, so I'm happy to see them keep building up what they do.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Rukus is touring (just played at CalArts), got invited to SXSW and very positive reviews from nonfur cinephiles there. It's also not "just another furry documentary", it's a pretty outstanding experiment with hybrid fiction.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Still waiting to be able to see that.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

Worth it for toes-in-nose sex scene alone

Your rating: None Average: 1 (4 votes)

This ^^^^^^^^

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

The CSI episode was an interesting case because I don't think it was as much about the writers of CSI misjudging furries as it was about furries not watching much CSI and getting the entire point of that show, which is in a nutshell:

CSI are literal paragons of virtue, gods among men, the only job that is a real, respectable job, the only lifestyle that isn't deviant.

They usually only spend like, 3 minutes an episode moralizing at all, if that, but when they do they really slap you in the face with it. Like, you feel like less of a person if you give a shit, because inevitably, you're going to have something in common with a few or more or their designated villains.

Maybe I should watch the episode again but honestly, when I saw it originally I was like "man, they could've done way worse, I've seen them do worse". IIRC, none of the furries were portrayed as killers or even criminals of any kind, none of them gave a rambling, clenched-teeth rant about their motive, rationalizing their crimes, making excuses, the usual shit CSI villains do because uh, they weren't really being portrayed as villains. Unless I'm remembering shit entirely wrong.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

I thought the reaction to the episode was completely overblown because... it's CSI. It's not meant to be a documentary and if you take anything that happens on it as realistic, then you're an idiot. I get why people were upset but I don't think it was much of a problem because the show doesn't even attempt to portray reality.

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

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

It could have been a hyper reaction because the CSI stuff came after two ER episodes a few years before, one of which portrayed a plushophile stealing and 'raping' a plush dear to the head doctor, on camera. And those were after the Wired Magazine (issue #5 I think) article exposing FurryMUCK in the early 90's.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

I think with time we forget how big a show CSI was; it's not just that it was negative, it was also, like, it. It's kind of why the Vanity Fair article was so big; there used to be a "furries in the media" website, and they covered, for instance, some low rent porn mag's trip to a furry convention. Since they were already a porn, they could actually show some really fucked up stuff, and the actual text of the article was actually fucking mean. They were making fun of us. It was a literal media hit job. They were actually trying to make us look bad. But nobody gave a shit outside of this now defunct website (and they only gave a shit because they were trying to be exhaustive in their coverage of ... coverage), because this was a tiny knock off of Hustler that I ... fucking don't even remember the name of.

But Vanity Fair was a major publication that has some clout and still manages to be what we'd call now an "influencer" of tastes and is also available in most grocery store check out aisles. When Dumbshit magazine I don't even remember says "hey, get a load of these guys, let's poke'em and see what happen!", nobody cares. When Vanity Fair says "eh, mostly harmless ... but kinda creepy", it fucking stings.

Likewise, your portrayal on what was the biggest show in the world at the time matters more.

And, also, just a personal anecdote, I had at least one friend call me after watching the episode on rerun and tell me it reminded them of me, and it's not that bad, but I still don't want to be associated in half the population's minds with semen stains on a raccoon suit, you know?

(I think the Vanity Fair/CSI things just had bad timing for furries as the whole Burned Fur thing was in high gear about that same time; it's one thing to have a bunch of malcontents off in one corner grumbling that you're creepy, it's another to have a group of outside sources highlight most everything they've been grumbling about, so it kind of hurt worse than it might have at another time.)

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

Oh, I haven't forgotten. It's just that by the time that episode rolled around, I already knew what the deal was with that show so I was kind of ambivalent about whether or not it was worth being too outraged over, not having seen it yet but having a general idea in my head of how they probably handled it (and to my surprise, it was actually far less offensive to me personally than I'd anticipated). Now, I was ambivalent about the show itself after just a few episodes worth of time with it and that's why I didn't catch it originally. Then one incredibly hot summer working an incredibly exhausting job, something happened: I found myself watching marathons of the shit on White Trash TV Spike TV every evening until I'd go to bed because I was literally too beat to get my arse up off the couch to change the channel, or even look for the remote until bed time. And so it was everything else about the show that kinda rubbed me the wrong way. At one point I found myself dubbing it The X-Files For Conservatives.

I don't think I was ever aware of this site you're talking about. Hell, I probably wasn't even aware of Flayrah at the time. But now that you mention the Vanity Fair article, I do remember that and having a similar reaction as my reaction to the CSI episode like, eh, could've been worse.

For me what really stung was people in certain circles I rolled with belittling furries. I mean IRL. Because a lot of them were artists, animators, graphic designers, IT nerds, Magic The Gathering, Pokemon, Harry Potter fans, etc. Like, who the fuck are y'all to judge anybody? That and therians... Who themselves would end up using the fandom to sell art once that "community" imploded from a combination of peak-crazy and the resulting apathy.

I think the best way to avoid negative associations like that is just to be well known enough to people whose respect matters that much to you that they can see or hear about something like that and be like, nah, no way dude's like that. But IRL I'm probably like 5 or 6 points away on Hare's checklist from being a full-blown psychopath so certain things about projecting a certain "aura" come a little more natural to me. That's my admittedly not-so-educated guess though.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

You know, Furries In the Media still exists; though I'm not 100% sure it's what you're talking about. We have it in the footer! Admittedly, the last post was in January, but that's better than most LiveJournal communities (and exactly the same as Artists_Beware, which recently moved).

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

I just remembered, it was Pressed Fur (not the lj community which was very different). The article I remembered was "Heavy Petting" in Loaded magazine; Pressed Fur described it as:

This is perhaps the most infamous and brutal deconstruction of Furry to date. It is cruel, scandalous, and very one-sided, but worst of all there's probably not a single actual lie in it.

(Green Reaper making me source my rambling comments over here ...)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Man that's the stupidest shit I ever heard. I admit I used to believe something similar. But that was in the therian community which was a glorified cult and these self-appointed "wise elders" were probably just putting that shit in our head as a way to groom minors for nudes and "cyber" as typefucking was called back in the day.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (4 votes)

Guiding younger guys = "grooming", zzzzz...

Even if you don't specifically want to "guide" younger guys, older guys look embarrassing with this constant need for documentaries to validate themselves.

But if you (Zhora) are just going to complain about the way your younglings are doing things, how about you step up and show us how it's done.

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They offer no positives to boys with fetishes and a love of soft animals coming after them, leaving the next generation to figure shit out on their own all over again.

As if that's not more or less how life is supposed to work unless there's another purpose to this shit, like how a young lady in a brothel might be trained by a "Madame" or whatever they're called. I mean with your own words I just quoted right there, you make it sound like that's essentially what furry boils down to, boys with fetishes. Maybe that's all it's about to you. Trying to define something so niche and yet so broad for everybody with such a broad generalization is just as uninformative as any bad documentary.

If I'm in the wrong here and not giving you enough benefit of the doubt then why don't you tell me what "guiding younger guys" means to you...

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Fathers, older brothers, school boys and other male peers all push boys into putting down their love of soft animals in favour of "real" manly interests. The sexuality of young guys is also attacked in their family and school life. A grown man playing with soft toys is seen as a loser and a virgin. These furry spaces don't really offer solidarity or protection in the face of all this. They don't even offer an explanation on why thing are the way they are for boys and young men.

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Okay, I'll focus on the last bit then, just in the interest of getting the most relevant part out of the way first: All me or Zhora or anybody would be able to do there is offer our opinion, based on our own experiences. And mine just don't square with yours from the sounds of it. I can certainly relate to being thought of as a loser and a virgin... By children who themselves were mostly losers and virgins. Hell, just admitting you used the internet for anything but "for work and business!" was like wearing two signs on your back, one saying "KICK ME", the other "BECAUSE I'M A PEDOPHILE". Now me, that shit's not so much what I still carry anger from. That would be the literal physical assaults. We're talking massive concussions and broken tailbones, back spams so bad you can't go to school for the next 2 weeks, that kind of thing. I could very well have PTSD and not know it... No wait, the sexual assault from just last year, yeah if that's not PTSD, what I deal with now from that, I don't know what is.

One thing I will concede is that when I was newer to the internet, the internet had a lot more safe spaces where people were more or less pretty self-aware about why they were there and honest about it. And I seriously needed them. But looking back I can also admit I often didn't make the best of them. Are you really so certain you would have? Even at their best, they were substitutes for a mental health system that just wasn't there and frankly, still isn't.

But all these self-styled elders were themselves full of flaws, hypocrisies, egoism, and had their own selfish needs and their own lives and obligations to deal with. My best friend, however, was significantly younger than me, and she did more for me than any of them did, and wasn't even really trying to be anything to me but a friend (though I'd later figure out that for her, a lot of it was about trying to be a better person than you were in the past through a friend and it worked as well as it did because that was precisely what I wanted for myself at that point, to just be a better person and a better friend).

All I can tell you is it doesn't fucking matter that you like stuffed animals. I might not literally play with them, but I got some Robin Hood plushies and a few Sonic plushies. The people that would've called me a faggot for that were calling me a faggot for essentially no reason than because I wasn't from where they were from and didn't look or think like them. But the more time passes, if I was still going to be angry over that, increasingly it becomes like being haunted by ghosts. You know, because they're mostly in your head.

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"Hell, just admitting you used the internet for anything but 'for work and business!' was like wearing two signs on your back, one saying 'KICK ME', the other 'BECAUSE I'M A PEDOPHILE'."


Men really are put into boxes.

This is just so bad.

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It wasn't exactly a good look for women either to be thought of as an internet loser, virgin, etc... Among the other points you're missing.

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Don't forget the 'girls on the internet are really just men' crap! XD

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"...and "cyber" as typefucking was called back in the day."

Listen to this subtle" back in muh day" language. You are not interested in being relevant, you just want to brow-beat.

(BTW, "cyber" is still a relevant word.)

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Actually I was gonna say "yiff" but then thought better to just use the word(s) that was used because hardly anyone I knew in those circles used that word unless they were referring to furries in some way. You know, or identifying as one, which it wasn't always a welcome thing to do. I never said cyber wasn't still a legit word, it's just archaic is all.

My point isn't to browbeat you about how I'm a real O.G of tha game and you owe me or Zhora or anybody any kind of respect just for being older. I don't believe that any more than I believe someone like Zhora owes it to you to "guide" or "teach" newer furries. Nobody owes anybody a damn thing here.

If I'm browbeating you about anything it's about a sense of entitlement that, no, Captain Paranoid, I don't associate with a generation to which I myself technically belong. Believe me, I think we don't get a lot of things in life we are genuinely entitled to. I just don't think certain things you seem to be so angry about being denied are among those things.

"Zhora, Zhora, please, put your own life on hold for me so I can be a furry, and make an entire documentary while you're at it", it's ludicrous. But if you're going to be cynical about my intentions I could just as easily say you've just been trying to save face the whole time because you made a dumb argument, got the obvious, expected response of "just because I'm not the one who made the documentary doesn't mean I can't have some valid criticism", in a nutshell, and have been trying to play rhetorical catch-up the whole time.

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Why did Zhora butt into my comment to make it about "visual artists are not represented enough over fursuits"?

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I can't speak for Zhora and don't know which comment you're referring too off the top of my head but I really doubt it was done with any malicious intent. She was probably just adding to the discussion and making a fair point. I really don't get why people post in comments sections and then get mad people reply, like they're being attacked when they aren't. Once again though, it is a lot more common with y'all younger folks though...

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I wasn't addressing you with that question, tho I did accidentally write it as a reply to your comment at first - that was the comment I needed a mod to delete and that sat there with the request in it until they could. The original comment would have shown up in your email, however, as I think they're immediately triggered once the writer hits 'Save'. But if you look at the comment as it is now and was after I tried to fix my mixup, it was a general question about the video series.

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"Zhora, Zhora, please, put your own life on hold for me so I can be a furry, and make an entire documentary while you're at it"

Nice strawmanning there.

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If I'm strawmanning, you're waging war against a windmill.

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The thing is I'm not fundamentally talking about a going-out-of-your-way-to-reach-young-members kind of thing. I'm talking about basic behaviour, and how you look to young members.

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You're in your 30's, as am I. So the way I perceive this entire conversation now has been challenged in my head. All because I actually bothered to click a link to your FA to try to figure out what your deal is. Dude, we're young, but we're not exactly kids, either.

Maybe I just don't get it. Personally, I don't give much of a shit how I look to anybody because so much of that is out of my control. For so many people it has as much (or even more) to do with your username and avatar as your actual words. So I'm just desensitized to it. I do know that I have a certain, if not perfectly solidified idea in my head of the kind of person I want to be, and I try to live by my ideals.

I don't know what more you want from people or why because frankly, it's a fucking waste of time and life, any other way. I know it from personal experience and shit, just look at the internet the last how many years now, where every damned week someone's name is being put to shame, with real-world consequences. Okay, so the internet has always had an element of that. But it didn't used to be so many people we found it so easy to like for such superficial reasons. And with the exception of a few lingering internet forums and I'm sure a bunch of Discords no one IRL gives a shit about, fewer and fewer people seem to respond with more than a shrug to someone being a furry or plushophile or whatever, because they have their own media-darlings being outed as scumbags (or worse) left and right and they're becoming desensitized too.

Maybe it'd help if you expand on your point a bit, define what you mean by behavior and how you look to other members, but I think people get too emotionally attached to this keeping up appearances shit instead of just being real. The fandom is just a tad cultish like that sometimes.

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In his 30's? Really...

Thanks for the info, BlackDog333, and for the backup while I haven't been here.

And everyone else I'm sorry about touching this argument off with my posting mistake.

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Erm... I was there. I, at the time, just wasn't that much into it. Sonic The Hedgehog proved way cooler, perhaps it was the bright colours in Green Hill Zone, or the fumes in the Chemical Plant Zone I don't know :P

But yes, BBS systems, and indeed, sending CD-R via international mail, to trade stuff with Sonic fans/furries overseas. That's where I came in.

I also feel my age as you do, my back is stuffed, my eyes are done for. My children are getting older, and my hair is grey.

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Well, this season's purpose wasn't to take a historical view of the fandom. It sounds like that is their desire for the second season, so if you think you have anything to add you should probably contact them.

Since 2001 here, so I'd be in the 'second wave'. I assume AshCoyote is within the last few years making her in the 'third wave'. So I hope she is able to contact more people from the first wave.

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Yes, you hear this Zhora? Go and contact her. Hop to it boyo!! (or gramps)

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LOL!!! First time I've ever been mistaken for a boy in furry circles! XD XD XD

Straight female here, dude.

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Ahhhhh...thanks for actually answering my questions. :D

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Why do we need another one of these damned documentaries?

You asked for it.

The fandom hates bad media and nurtures a major grudge about unfair stuff that's now almost 20 years stale.

CNN came to make a documentary to correct those portrayals. The fandom did huge unconstructive protesting before it could even start. CNN did a great job doing what people demanded, while they also didn't want to let CNN do it.

The unpleasable people *still* weren't satisfied.

They said CNN didn't show enough diversity by focusing on the individual stories of a few people who stepped up, despite pre-judgement and risk of potential abuse. But you can't tell everyone's story diversely if it isn't about "everyone." It didn't show other people's stories because other people didn't step up or were even held back. It also wasn't that kind of broad sweeping story in the first place.

Here's the correction for those complaints -- a documentary by fans, for fans, aimed to show diversity.

The makers are good friends, I love them. Personally, that isn't my style of storytelling (just my taste, I'd rather watch a noir film than a rom-com.) I don't want something to "portray the fandom", I don't want PR baked in before starting, I want to hear stories based on what comes out by digging in. I'd rather see a Fursonas, not a "furry story" but a story about subculture that happens to feature furries. Even so, knowing the makers, I trust this one is in good hands.

People asked for this, and it isn't a result of Risher's insecurity (who better to edit this than an award winning member of fandom) -- it's a result of fandom insecurity about media. And, a lot of critically-ignorant complaints that these kinds of efforts aren't doing it right come from fan entitlement to tell creators how to create.

As always, the solution is if you want a story told your way, start telling it. Pick up a camera, start a blog, get drawing.

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I understand people criticizing the content of furry documentaries, but I don't get the readers of this site specifically criticizing the concept of them. To my mind, it's kinda in the same vein of a good chunk of what goes on here - nonfiction furry content about the subculture. It's just in documentary form, so it does slightly different things, or does them in a different way. I haven't seen this yet, though I like the people behind it so it's been on my to-do list, I just take forever watching any videos.

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Ditto on all that... I only watched most of one of their episodes so far, but I'm really glad they won their budget on kickstarter to make more.

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I shouldn't be responding here actually because my words have no value.

Funny you should mention grudges.
Every furry I've known has held on to one or more.
That's why I really dislike the whole furry thing, aside from more, blatant reasons that made me hate it completely which I shouldn't be discussing here. I am here, after all to look see about Sonic and write about the poor little blue fella, not to indulge in this furry crap. Anyways...

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What the hell? What grudges are you talking about? You ever heard the expression take a shit or get off the pot?

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Thank you. I expected worse. I shall now leave. I am not welcome here.
I will stick to commentary and stories about Sonic!

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At any point is the non-fursuit art community even mentioned? Or has that gone totally by the wayside? Is there anything about the history of the fandom (hopefully with GOOD sources)?

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What GOOD sources do you have in mind?

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I'm curious as well

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On this very site there's an article by someone with maybe at most a decade in furry at the time who decided to write a history that was severely lacking in facts, with a years-long comment thread that lists several sources, including comments by people who were actually there (and which finally revealed the truth about a longstanding rumor/controversy). I'm sure you're young and savvy enough to find it.

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Link plz

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I believe they are referencing this one by "CannonFodder" from 2011:

Which yeah, it was badly voted on. This one falls squarely on GreenReaper who was the only editor who could publish at the time. But to give some credit it was marked with opinion, which I would guess Green had added to highlight it was more a person's feeling then researched history nuance.

Fred contributed more information which had more accuracy, but you know, people will remember the one bad over the more regular items that are more quality. That bias seems to be something that knows no age.

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Thanks for providing a link and not just expecting me to know.

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No regrets there. The comments ended up with enough original source material to write a chapter of furry history. While Fred's contributions are notable, I was more interested with the spat between Sylys and ChipUni. As always, two people can have very differing experiences and interpretations of the same events.

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I love how the original article was essentially trolling, spread by a young troll under influence of an original troll, and it spun off a good topic about the truth :)

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I as saw it,only one artist in the entire documentary.

In addition, that my pet peeve with furry media, not just with the documentary but furry media in general from the CNN report to Furry youtubers. Only 20% or so have a fursuit but the media convers 98% fursuites and 2% non-fursuiters.

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You know why? Because society doesn't give a damn about reclusive artists dicking around with a pencil in their hand actually putting in work to make a living. It's all about "personalities". A personality is often a passable substitute for being clever, and a flashy fursuit is often a passable substitute for a personality. So put it in front of a camera and people will keep watching whereas an actual artist will bore you to tears with their thought process and inspirations and, ugh that's so not marketable or fuckable! I mean everyone knows media is inherently sensationalist. The root word is "sensation", feeling, not thinking.

There's a brand of (more or less) mainstream media out there that does seek out and interview visual artists and it's probably not that they wouldn't shine a light on furry art, it's just that traditional, visual artists are so marginalized as it is, they do more good by focusing on, say, Mi'Kmaq artists than some people drawing generic anthros doing generic anthro things.

My point is television can kiss my ass.

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From everything I have seen, Fursuits feature in media because:

They're photogenic. Featuring Random Dude as a visual doesn't help tell a furry story like a magical-talking-animal-mascot. Filming a writer typing doesn't have impact like 6-foot squirrels having a party.

Fursuits are what you get by filming outside cons or in the lobby. Media makers are cramped by releases and restrictions that keep them from following people into private spaces.

A lot of most active fans are fursuiters - especially ones who go to cons, do the most tourism or will spend thousands on commissioning an artist. Sure someone with a huge library instead is just as active, but you can't bring that with you to show it.

The film makers aren't magically granted a huge budget to travel to everyone's house. If you want them to come to you, pay them.

They do focus on history, they interviewed Mark and Rod the other week.

They just won a budget to do a movie, but $20K doesn't make a big movie and won't cover their costs, lots will come out of pocket. There's a high cost hurdle to get it on Netflix, so look forward to more content that fits their standards under budget restriction.

As always, if people want better stories, start telling them, or funding them, or let creators create.

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Those, and the basic fact that fur-suits tend to come out dancing when the media show up, whereas the artists (perhaps a better representation of what the fandom is, or at least where it came from) tend to dive under their tables and cower.

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Looks like they got their funding.

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Not going to list any names, but there are definitely some NPCs in this thread.

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The kinds of people who refer to entire groups of people they don't like as NPCs usually are pathetic cowards so that's cool, play to your type, stay with your own kind and get the fuck out :3

edit: Just to spell it out with baby ABC blocks for your congenitally retarded ass, what I'm saying is, if you got a problem with somebody but can't name names or just reply directly, it's because you have a small brain and an even smaller dick.

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The fact that you made this a dick measuring contest adds to my point.

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No it doesn't. Stop with this false equivalency bullshit. You guys have been doing it for about a decade or so now. Everyone with a conscience is onto you, and they're sick of your bullshit. And if I'm wrong and you're not one of them, get with the times and stop using their buzzwords. You're known by the company you keep.

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So everyone who uses the NPC term is far right now? Guess that rule applies to you too, doesn't it?

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If people keep dehumanizing other people with the term NPC, in the words of one NPC, "they're going to have a bad time".

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I love how the types who call the NPC meme 'dehumanizing' ignore issues like drag kids or entities like the SPLC falsely labeling others as extremists.

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No one gives a shit about your whataboutisms dude. And it's not that nobody cares about the other issues you guys bring up (assuming they're relevant to us personally and/or the broader culture beyond the fringes). It's that you people, without fail, can ruin something perfectly acceptable and have been since you misappropriated the Swastika. Shit, you probably did it even earlier if the Roman fascio littorio counts.

People were referring to others as NPCs in private or in small group chats as shorthand for people who just don't think for themselves for a while before you 4chan fucks took it and made it a meme to refer to, who else, liberals, be they big L or small l.

Oblivious to the irony of engaging in the same groupthink you accuse others of with that term. You people ruin every god damned thing you touch or even breath on. It's like you speak, and whatever words you use, bam, nobody can use it anymore for fear of sounding like y'all.

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It's almost as if said anxiety around "Nazism"/center-left internet memes originates from liberalism itself and people such as yourself are now coming to understand the consequences of such.

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No one with an actual conscience and/or ability for research and critical thinking fell for that bullshit when Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter tried it back in the day and they don't believe it now. People like me don't typically start these things. People like me, when we're trying to make sense of what's going on in the world, and getting frustrated and angry with what isn't going on, say, some actual fucking progress towards a more intelligent, stable society, will randomly think to ourselves something like the following:

"I feel sometimes like I'm in a video game, and all these people around me are like NPCs because it's like they act before they think sometimes", and we might not even be thinking in political terms. Or even "social issues". Just stupid people doing stupid shit. And we'll use this like, once or twice in a few conversations, without trying to force it into a meme, because the irony wouldn't be lost on us if we did. And we don't want a meme, we want a better fucking world for once. And it's not like we're exactly immune to the same impulses as a lot of the people we don't like, we get that. We foster a self-awareness in ourselves and more often than not, it's a bit of real world adversity that "helped us" get there.

That's why we tend to be more creative thinkers who don't beat a dead horse. But then people like you come along and make it so we don't even have the option of using terminology we may very well have thought up on our own, independently, just because it vaguely resembles yours. Shit, you have yet to disavow the alt-right in this conversation. Why is that? "Because everybody has the right to believe whatever they want and freedom of association and..." okay, that worked out wonderfully, didn't it?

The world didn't become a shitty place because I, personally, have liberal views. I came upon a much more overtly liberal stance than what I once had because the world became a shittier place. If people like you serve one useful purpose, it's making people like me find our balls enough to take a fucking stand on an issue. And I get you that you probably feel more or less the same way. Let me put it to you this way. I felt more like an oppressed minority whose freedom of speech was under attack in the early post-9/11 years than I do now... And I know I was, if anything, more of an "SJW" then than I am now. So what happened?

I think what happened is people like me were too afraid to be ourselves because people were losing their jobs for so much as having an anti-Bush bumper sticker on their privately owned vehicles. And we conformed as much as we could. We did what we were told. We went to school. We voted our conscience. We worked any job we could get. Nothing got better for us, only worse. We did things your way and you responded by treating us even worse. And we couldn't fucking take it anymore.

We're dangerously close to being you, I understand that, even if most of my kind don't, and I'm not saying they don't. There are plenty of days we want to riot, burn everything to the fucking ground, completely Year Zero this bitch. Annihilate everything that exists. But you lot are doing a fine job of that yourselves. The difference is you're killing our friends while you do it. And you'll ultimately burn yourselves out and leave us to clean up the mess. And I'm fine with that, because it's about damned time we inherited our fucking world back even if it means you don't get to join us in it.

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Okay, since we seemed to have missed it:

Not going to list any names, but there are definitely some NPCs in this thread.

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Might be, but I doubt it. Most of these people are sincere. They're stupid as fuck, but they do mean what they say. And their purpose is more than to just drag you into an argument even when they don't. And to be honest, often times, I know when they're baiting, but I simply don't care. When you're quitting smoking and need something to rage at, it's actually helpful when they come around. It's almost like fighting two cancers at once.

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Okay, I'm biting with you, but the whole NPC thing is ... really dumb, though, you know?

It's a case of the alt-right trolls thinking they're "owning the libs" by making them mad, but, really, I mean, once again, it's mistaking "polite confusion" with "anger" ... because this is dumb stuff. So, if you're not an NPC, a playable character, you're ... a puppet controlled by unseen forces for said forces' ... amusement? Is that ... the ideal, here?

Also, a "meme" to make fun of people for spouting catchphrases ... I mean, Jesus Christ, but that glass house is fucked.

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The insult is lost on me because I play good games.

When I think of NPCs I think of UnderTale's Sans, Final Fantasy's Kefka, Night in the Wood's Greg.

They're thinking of Bethesda chatter.

They used to play good games, but then gaming CEOs got enamored in the greed.

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I guess it might also have helped to have spent time hanging out in cryptocurrency forums.

But yeah, "NPC" doesn't strike me as a great term for faceless masses, because those aren't truly "characters" at all. Sometimes (perhaps more often in bad games) they have a simple, specific role, but even then it's unlikely to be the same as others. Perhaps "grunts" or "mobs" would be a better term.

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It's good that you linked to that article because said article in turn links to another concept I'd long forgotten about: the philosophical zombie. And there's research suggesting some people might not have an internal monologue of any sort, raising the question of whether or not we're all conscious on the same level. I wonder if there's research attempting to explain why some people (like me) can think up the term "NPC" on our own and refrain from outright labeling the masses (we don't like or relate to) as such because we realize that it's pretty dehumanizing, not to mention a lot more complicated than that, and why some people decide "nope, perfectly acceptable, and anyone who disagrees with me is probably also an NPC".

I'd like to chalk it up to an utter lack of empathy but like with everything, I figure it has to be way more complex than that and can't pretend I know much of anything.

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Guess if they tried to not play the fishing mini-games as often, they'd be a happier gamer.

Everyone knows the fishing mini-games suck.

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So basically they're like someone who would play Sonic Adventure just for Big The Cat's story, and only Big The Cat's story. All for the sake of a stupid frog.

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There were some people who played that game JUST FOR THAT character's story. Its true.
And some furries recently admitted they played the game because its camera glitches allowed them to look up Amy's dress.

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1. As bad as Big's gameplay is, I liked the design of the character itself. Also, I could actually kind of relate to his story. I've seriously been considering writing an article here in defense of Big The Cat and his story. Of course I'm also considering writing about the fucking Get Along Gang so by all means, question the ever-living shit out of my judgment.

2. One time I was playing Sonic Adventure as Big and the camera swooped around to his underside to where it took up the whole screen, and there's only one of two possible explanations for what I saw: either the camera went inside his arse and I saw where his tail polygons intersect with his butt polygons, or they actually modeled a tiny dick for him.

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Hey, I would eagerly read that. I like that game immensely, even today it occupies a very special place in my heart, for reasons too long to expand upon here.

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Back to the topic at hand. The documentary was decently done and obviously focused on the perspective of the fandom from the point of view of the one making the documentary. While it seemed a bit scewed toward fursuiters and YouTubers, those are the people most often seen by the general public so one could be excused for thinking they were the majority of the fandom. It didn't bring up the topics most of the older furs are tired of seeing the media bring up so good for that. It didn't represent the fandom as I participate in it but that's fine. I don't feel the need to be represented by anyone else. As for the NPC thing, may I assume that's meant to be the other side of things from SJW? Sorry, I don't follow all the new slang on social media.

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Like with SJW itself, NPC means different things depending on who's saying it. It could mean blue pill (as opposed to red pill), it could mean SJW, or it could mean generic mindless sheep. Some days I beg for a new hashtag/social movement to undo all this confusing bullshit. Call it English, Not Acronyms, or something.

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By far the most interesting episode to me. Religion is usually one of those topics in the fandom that aren’t discussed too frequently in open air.

nor should it be. separation of fur and...well, I can't say what i want to call it on this site.

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