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Nicodemus

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Animal Imitators [Aug. 19th, 2003|11:17 pm]
Nicodemus
[Current Mood |relievedrelieved]
[Current Music |Computer whir]

So... saw the show, as I'm sure countless furries did. In fact, snapcat and wolfstoy both put up nice entries shortly before this.

So, cutting to the chase: I think it was pretty good.

Let's face it, this was a HUGE step up from past furry TV coverage where the theme was "they're all sex-crazed maniacs with fursuits and plush and whips and molesting children and worshipping satan". Okay, maybe I'm bitter and exaggerating... slightly.

This show wasn't specifically about furries but about animal spirits, body modification, and quest for self image. An interesting angle with a lot of diverse, well-expressed viewpoints. Some people were furries (notably the aforementioned Snap, who shined in his role as goofy harmless tiger) and some were not (Snake and Cat, by their own accounts).

Since I am not much of a "lifestyler" in the fandom (though I respect those who are; pursue your happiness how you choose), it was a bit dismaying that more moderate (some might say, "mundane") leanings in the fandom weren't represented. To put it bluntly, we were featured alongside a man with "freak" tattooed on his chest and a guy who eats his meat nearly raw despite still having a human GI tract. So be it. I'll still accept that this is probably better repesentation than we've gotten from other shows and at least tells personal stories of conviction and belief rather than tawdry tabloid tales.

The show didn't really make a strong distinction about who's furry and who isn't; in fact, they failed to really define "furry" at all. Somewhat of a failing, from my personal viewpoint, but perhaps appropriate given the thematic focus of the show. Furry culture is more of a backdrop to their stories. But this is okay, since they at least showed positive social aspects offered by the fandom and perhaps built a subtle awareness of it without forcing viewers to have/accept opinions of the fandom and furries generally.


(And now that the show is recorded and done, my VCRs return to dubbing Starcrash... Again and again and again...)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: nigel
2003-08-20 06:55 am (UTC)
I agree with you about Snap, or whatever his name was. When I saw him in the previews for the show, I cringed, but he was pretty damn good on the actual show. I was especially pleased that he mentioned that he knows how to "turn it off", and he knows when the whole tiger thing is appropriate, and when it's not. Plus that bit about being very careful about who he molests on the street. *grin*

I think what made this show so different from all the others was that the fringe sexual aspects weren't included at all, rather than being the entire focus of the show/article, like they always have been in the past.
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[User Picture]From: xydexx
2003-08-20 09:59 am (UTC)

Data Point

The show didn't really make a strong distinction about who's furry and who isn't; in fact, they failed to really define "furry" at all.
If nobody came forward that information, then there's no way for them to make that distinction. As much as folks complain when furry fandom gets bad press, the only way an alternate viewpoint is going to get out there is by talking to the media. Avoiding the media only forfeits the opportunity to provide accurate information.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2003-08-20 12:05 pm (UTC)

Re: Data Point

Given that they did say "furry" and mention the furry community and a convention, I think it unlikely that they didn't press anyone for a definition of "furry" if it wasn't volunteered. I suspect they knew about it but just considered it too much of a deviation from the main thrust of the show to go into detail about the fandom.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2003-08-21 01:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Data Point

I think you're on target with this. (I've heard Robert King compare furry to early sci-fi fandom before; might that be the furry you were thinking of?)

Over time, as furry continues to passively exist despite initial mockery, it will gain mindshare and eventually be regarded as just "something different". I'd be delighted with that! But it does take time and a slow shifting of social awareness.

I sometimes think the reason that so many press contacts with furry go so badly is that the furries in question push for publicity and dump this enormous emotional topic on them... But the public can't easily relate to something so non-mainstream in a single article/piece. So the reporter picks out something to focus on and sexual deviancy is certain to get the public's attention...

It's not that we should give up on press/television; Xydexx is right in saying that if we say nothing then no one else will promote furry positively. But we also need to ease into it and some furries seem to have the impulse to "bare all" about the fandom at the first chance. Restraint and patience are, in my mind, the better course.
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