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More (probably unpleasant) Furry Press via Savage Love on 8/21

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If you read The Onion or any number of other publications you may have seen the less-than-flattering response to a question about furry published in the August 7th column of "Savage Love" (Savage Love is a question/answer column written by sex advice guru Dan Savage). Unsurprisingly there was an overwhelming response to his take on the fandom, its origins and interests. His August 14th column has a small blurb at the bottom that reads "Next week in Savage Love: Furries speak! And roll over! And go on the carpet! And attempt to chew me a furry new asshole!"

Judging by the last part I think we can safely guess that a large portion of the feedback he got was little more than flaming rhetoric -- and if there's one thing Dan loves to do it is to dish back as good as he's gotten. We can expect fireworks next week for sure.



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While I hope for the best, I wonder if someday these kind of websites will ever get drug type package warning labels that say..."Warning: Ranting while taking the following article to heart could result in fandom indigestion and nausea. Avoid taking too seriously."
(Of course, I need to follow my own advice on that one at times. ; )

Grace and Peace - Camstone Fox

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No comment...
White Lion

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Someone please explain to me -- why does the fandom even take these trolls seriously anymore?


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I'm starting to believe that it could be any combination of a number of things:

  1. It strokes people's egos to think they're they only ones who are being unfairly nitpicked
  2. Terminal lack of cluefulness
  3. It's attention
  4. Persecution complexes need to be fed
  5. The people who don't pay attention to these various bursts of "bad publicity" (I believe this to be the vast majority of people) are also the ones who don't bother ranting or raving about it because they've gotten tired of the noise.

It's really disheartening to see that such a brief little blurb in one article still causes a massive knee-jerk reaction along with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. People really need to grow a thicker skin or learn that by writing back flaming rhetoric it's only going to antagonize the authors and encourage them to further ridicule the fandom. I've been following Savage for some time, and he's a fairly reasonable guy. Yes, he has a small amount of sensationalism in his choices and his responses, but that is how the man makes his living. For the most part if somebody approaches him with a thoughtful, calm letter he'll respond in kind. Writing him a flaming death threat saying he's next on the hit list for daring to criticize (or misinform about) your particular niche just gives him the ammo he needs to fire back an equally hot response, and I guarantee in that scenario he will own you.

"We use them for divine retribution."

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Those of us who do not just aren't visible.... because we are silent. You never see or hear from us because we don't make a fuss. And the people who haven't grown thick skins, or haven't learned the proper responses, or just have a martyr complex, get 100% of the visibility and hence 'represent the fandom' to those who are paying attention to the fandom's reactions..... and naturally come to the conclusion that the fandom is comprised of those who make noise.

Frankly my furs, I don't give a damn about the Savage article. I combat mistruths how, where, and when I can, but have pretty much stopped reacting to this sort of thing. I'm unimpressed and really don't see why I should get upset. And because I don't get upset... I don't bother to make my reaction known, and hence cease to be represented in the troll-of-the-week's snapshot of furfen.

Oh well. That's publicity. I do what I can but recognize when I can't do anything (or try to recognize it), and don't waste my energy over it. There are much.... MUCH... better things to do with one's time.

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See, this is why on Fur Central they suggested that if you absolutely feel the instinctive urge to write Savage a letter, that you do it in a polite, informative, AND NON-FLAMING matter. But of course, since when did a bunch of grown people who act like ten year olds ever feel the need to listen to some sage advice or just have the common courtesy of acting maturely?

This is why I didn't even bother sending Savage a letter. See, if you decide to get overly vocal, chances are people are going to hate you for it (like Savage is probably doing right now). Hence I tend to think the answer is just to leave things alone and inform people about the fandom in less direct, in your face manners. Like writing an article about Furry on your website or something.

Fana McCloud

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What I'd like to know is, why the hell is someone going to a non-furry, or a non-fursuit sex guy for the answer for these questions they're asking? If the guy had any brains, he'd do a lil research on his own, instead of asking some know-it-all ass who thinks he's in on the deal, meanwhile making blatent assumptions like "all fursuiters are into fursuit sex"... blegh, I mean.. what the hell..

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1) This is Dan Savage. I can't recall a single instance when he EVER treated anything with consideration to both sides, or even the slightest amount of impartiality. He doesn't have to. He is an entertainer, not a journalist. Expect him to start being "fair" when Dr. Laura or Dave Barry start being "fair".

2) I thought the article (apart from the "all furries are..." bit, which is a forgivable bit of crass generalization given who the source is) wasn't all that bad. A person wrote in asking about a kink. He spouted some pop-psychology answer for it (again, his M.O.) and gave direction to the person asking the question. Considering the questions he prints much of the time, it all came off as kind of a tame, harmless sexual oddity. (It IS a sex column, and the question asked was sexual in nature.)

3) Much like Vanity Fair and MTV, no one of any consequence reads Savage Love (not and take it seriously anyway). It is entertainment media, not journalism.

4) If his usual routine holds, of the letters written in response, he will choose the worst-written, least logical, and most amusing. He will then tear them apart with great gusto and sarcasm. He MIGHT go so far as to retract the "all furries are..." part of the article. Maybe. But the opinion layered on by his other responses will far outweigh that small correction.

I really have to wonder what does more damage? Shutting up and letting a Dan Savage article slide by in obscurity, or starting a war (a vastly under-equipped war, since I know of few people in the fandom who could match wits sarcastically with Savage and win) over it?

If (as some claim) the fandom needs some good P.R., then maybe we had better get some trained P.R. spokesmen -- then learn to shut up and let THEM do the talking like in a corporation or a politicial campaign. Frankly, I think that ruins the fun of the fandom though.

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About the author

Feren (Jason Olsen)read storiescontact (login required)

    a network engineer and Black panther from Chicago, Illinois, interested in furry literature, art, and camaros

    Sometimes network engineer. Sometimes coder. Sometimes ranting editorial writer.