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Ach, dorkery.

I like the concept of "furries" a lot, and I don't mind being a geek. But I'm finding the young, weird furries quite taxing. They keep wearing leashes--not shiny leather, but nylon things from the pet stores. And there's a strong insistence on tails. I'm sort of okay with that, but I don't at all like the combination of tail, stupid collar, and various gothy accessories, particularly--here's the important part--worn by someone who can't pull it off. It just sets the wrong tone. It changes things from "Here's a bunch of geeks of dubious morality and sexual orientation" to "Here's a bunch of IN YOUR FACE!!! geeks of dubious morality and sexual orientation, and maybe they look for friday night dates at PetCo."

So I'm thinking that maybe we need a new word for sane furries. How about "Professional Urban Furries"? or "Puffies" for short.

It's awkward. I don't want people not to express their inner labrador, but "taste" and "decorum" are important words in a public setting.


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:10 am (UTC)
SCi-fi has been dealing with this problem from some time now. Do a google search on the term "first fandom".
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:13 am (UTC)
Or better yet look at here. Anything look familar?
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:51 am (UTC)
Bwahahaha! That's darling! And I've seen a snark in THAT EXACT HAT! This proves it's correct. ;)
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:11 am (UTC)
I have to admit, I've never understood the collar thing. The collar on the dog serves the same purposes as the iron collars they once put on slaves: to identify the status of the wearer, to identify the owner, and to facilitate control of the wearer.

I find it hard to believe that a dog endowed with human level intellect and the ability to speak would willingly choose to wear one.
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:14 am (UTC)
It's getting the idea of furries confused with D&S play, AFAIK. Maybe people with strong "dogness" are drawn toward dominant/submissive behavior, it wouldn't be entirely surprising. From what I've heard, a lot of "domestic" phenotypes get like that.
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:29 am (UTC)
That may be the case with some individuals, but I get the impression they'd be in the minority. My overall impression I've gotten from the ones I've known personally is that they wear them because dogs wear them. Thus it's strictly emulative behavior. I don't think too many people stop to think about why dogs wear collars in the first place.
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:46 am (UTC)
You can't seperate out the sexual element from furry fandom, not easily. The shock factor from wearing a collar comes from the BDSM tie-in. They wouldn't wear them if it wasn't shocking. And the controlling element from BDSM comes from, in part, that this is "my pet," so full circle back to animal imagery. Slaves weren't generally put on leashes, I'm guessing.
Jan. 21st, 2005 11:01 am (UTC)
It's my impression that a fair number of furries mix and match animal references and bits and pieces from S&M into a personal blend that dosen't make sense to anyone else and that even they can't explain.

Add in a desire for acceptance ('Can I show up even though I don't have a fursuit yet? I have a tail I can wear!'), an iffy understanding of sarcasam ('No, the communal orgies are every OTHER thursday.' 'Really?') and a twentysomething sense of WHEE MOM ISN'T LOOKING!! and you get...well, what we have. :)
Jan. 21st, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC)
That's it! I need to get them to imprint on someone as Mom! That'll make things so much easier :) Except of course for the designated Mom...
Jan. 21st, 2005 11:06 am (UTC)
*raises a hand* I would hesitate to openly call myself "furry"...but I am a dog, and I like my collar.

Note I do NOT claim to speak for all domestic types or even all dogs...just me. But I like my collar for a number of reasons. One, it's just -there.- You DO get used to it. Secondly...collars mean 'fun things.' I'm not talking about sex...I mean, when the collar comes out, that means we're going for, say...dinner and a movie. Thus the collar is associated with GOOD things...'walks' if you will. And lastly, I have a bit of social phobia. I'm genuinely intimidated by people I don't know, and people tend to give me a wider berth when I wear it.

Bear in mind, however, that I do not add a tail or anything to my ensemble...and my collar is made by and FOR human wearers, not dogs.
Jan. 21st, 2005 11:20 am (UTC)
I plead almost total ignorance on the whole coller and leash thing. I've only been leashed once, and sdocat probably didn't mean anything by it. Probably.

Furries and Goths :) One of the running jokes with both groups is denial of membership. I'm wondering how the two FurryGoth communities I'm on can possibly exist! Oh, yeah, memberships under 20...

Part of an ensemble, part of your image, that's sterling. That's self-expression through clothing, which is a great tapestry. I'm not sure where the fine line is. I don't think that bright blue nylon leashes go well with grubby untucked polo shirts and pot-bellies in public settings. Maybe all this is just aesthetic and judgemental and prissy on my part. I'll occasionally, very occasionally, wear a great dane chain-choker, but generally it's barely visible under the pile of black clothing. I wear a set of rabies tags a little more frequently, but I do think about what I wear them with.
Jan. 21st, 2005 12:41 pm (UTC)
"I don't think that bright blue nylon leashes go well with grubby untucked polo shirts and pot-bellies in public settings."

OKAY! Anybody dressing like that should be required to wear a sign saying "No, really, I do NOT represent the Furry Fandom." Because, let's face it, that is just plain TACKY.

And yes, technically I do wear a basic ensemble. The reason for this is that I hate wearing things that don't match...and a tail would NOT match my standard clothing. :3
Jan. 21st, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)
"Yes, my judgement of your fashion statement is only my opinion, but that doesn't mean it's not right."
Jan. 21st, 2005 01:01 pm (UTC)
*heart* :]
Jan. 23rd, 2005 07:17 am (UTC)
Hey! I was just trying to be funny..


ahem. Make Soup, slave!!

Anyway, I do tend to agree with the view that if dogs were intelligent enough, they would _Not_ wear restrictive items like leashes. Had they evolved without humans, I don't think that would come into play. But, this is a feline's pov, so, you know.
Jan. 21st, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC)
You're right, leashes weren't generally put on slaves, though oftentimes chains were attached to the collars to chain the slaves to a wall at night and sometimes they were chained together when working. The most common use of the chains was in transporting slaves in large numbers.
Jan. 21st, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Goths have been confusing people for ages. That's why I stopped clubbing ;) Never could tell who was wearing a flogger because they thought it looked "cool"...
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:14 am (UTC)
Only for the same reasons a human would wear one.
'nuff said?
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:12 am (UTC)
There's a reason I keep at arm's length from big chunks of the local pagan community.

I hear you.
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:13 am (UTC)
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:17 am (UTC)
Ach--that question :) Very loosely, people who are fans of anthropomorphic artwork (such as Disney's "Robin Hood"--humanoid fox people, or Bugs Bunny). There's layers of stuff on top of it (including animal totems/spirituality, a complicated fandom society, costuming, a certain sexual element that is variously derided as a Bad Thing or percieved as perhaps the Main Thing). T'is a wee bit complicated, so best summed up by "geeks with fuzzy animal fixations."
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:23 am (UTC)
Down. Down. Down the rabbit hole.
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:23 am (UTC)
Slightly more indepth info can be found here (linked off the anthrcon websire).

I think I remember someone using the term 'trekkies with bunny-ears' recently...
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:48 am (UTC)
Ooh, I like that! So in summary, Trekkies with better reception? :)
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:49 am (UTC)
I am (delightfully) reminded of the "executive transvestite"/"weirdo transvestite" bit from Eddie Izzard's "Dress to Kill". XD
Jan. 21st, 2005 11:04 am (UTC)
Well, there *is* a difference. I have 10 different hyena-related items in my cubical. None of them is my tail. Whereas there's one furry I've had my psychological space violated by who's unemployable because he won't take his off. I do love that routine, though :)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Ha Ha!
Ooohhh...that's hardcore :) I've occasionally toyed with the idea of a spot pattern around my shoulderblades, but sanity and rationality have stopped me--that, and hyena spots don't look like anything in particular. At least you can tell with leopard print that it's obviously leopard. I think with "Furry" if you want to be one (or show up at conventions), you get to wear the special pants. I mean, if someone wants to claim to be a trekkie, what's the point of arguing?
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Ha Ha!
It's not just "obsessive", it's a specific valence of obsessive :)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2005 11:04 am (UTC)
Erh...I'm not interested that much in establishing relative sanity outside the fandom. I'd just like it if the locals weren't so darned fired up about Being Different for the Sake of Difference. I'd be TOTALLY OKAY with being at the spearhead of an "executive furry" trend, but I fear the general "don't let them put me in a 'cube!" philosophy is too strong for that one to really catch on with the sheep-morphs.
Jan. 21st, 2005 01:05 pm (UTC)
Look on the bright side, J - your fandom got a major boost from Rush Limbaugh when he mocked and derided it earlier today re: the con out in California. Google it, baby.

As for the collars...eh. My blind, unreasoning hatred of having fandom jammed down my throat extends to those, which is why I avoid Chipotle on certain nights. 'Course, before the inevitable screams and cries out outrage come, I point out that:

1)The popular public perception of furries is dominated by furverts and guys like Doug Winger and TCatt.

2)I like Spotty just fine. I even grabbed his ass once. Was that the beginning of the end, I wonder...?

3)I'd do the same to Trekkies, obnoxious LARPers and Ian. For those of you who don't know Ian...ask Spotty. Oh, the horror, the horror.

You may now return to your labors. Or, if interested, peruse the sharkpit that is RPG.Net's Tangency forum.
Jan. 21st, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
Woah. Limbaugh mocked *furries*? Why? WHY? What's the damn point? This is what happens when conservatives win, and get bored.

Every fandom is dominated by the gimps and dorks. Sad fact. Furries are just the lowest fandom on the geek totem pole. On the other hand, the geek totem pole that listed Vampire Larpers and Furries at the bottom of the ladder was probably created by bitter Trekkies who couldn't get laid--not so much an issue for those two fandoms, as long as you have no standards :) Or so MTV tells me...
Jan. 21st, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
I also see tons and tons more "goth" furries all the time.(online especially)- the typical "fuckyouall" teens who think they NEED to define their "uniqueness" by tacky technicolor accessories and an overdone punky facade. Its pathetic, really. There's a difference between displaying your own personal style and blindly reaching out for attention with anything you can grasp, and these new furs can't seem to tell the difference. What amuses me is that these kids go around saying "I don't care what anyone thinks" but they're doing it to "stand out" and they get their little feelings hurt when people make fun of them on SomethingAwful or wherever else the bullies gather. If they really didn't care, they wouldn't go out of their way to look stupid.

I know I wear a collar from time to time, but its something I actually bought at a jewelry store, and its rather subtle, so I'd like to think. And I try to only wear it with the appropriate attire. At least I don't wear that fingerguard/claw thingy I got for my birthday. XD

Of course, extremes always define the stereotypes, sad to say. I think that's part of why Sdocat is loath to go out of his way to show up at Wing Night anymore. I know the new crops of furs really irk him.
Jan. 21st, 2005 02:10 pm (UTC)
Well, the old guard is still there, but these new kids are making me uncomfortable. Though the latest batch (the leashes I've been kvetching about ) were at least mid-20somethings, they really should have been old enough to know better. The kids, though, tend to just hang out together and clique, which is okay. Really, the kids *aren't* that bad. One or two of them can actually wear collars and look the part, and even Tobias is just kind of dorky and annoying--and he's mellowed a LOT, or maybe I'm just comparing to people who are much worse. Mostly the 17-20-year-olds huddle around the table and amuse each other.

There are some adults, though, that genuinely creep me out. Once in a great while I meet someone whose presence is enough to give me the screaming wiggins. (shudder) And those leash fools were off-putting. Tobias will grow out of it, Helio will probably grow out of it or be shot and skinned for his coat. People over 25 won't grow out of it. (twitch twitch)
Jan. 21st, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Tobias keeps improving over time, which is impressive. There is hope for him, compared to others I've seen and heard from.

But I had no idea the people you were referring to were that old. Sheesh. I was thinking my age or so, not much older. Guess the whole typically teen "look, look at me dammit, I'm an individual!!" stage isn't something that wears off anymore. o_o;

And I didn't mean to sound like all older furs were more comfortable to be around, they're just typically creepier in more subtle, less attention attracting ways, it seems.
Jan. 21st, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
*Hides cake with 29 9/10th candles on it*
Jan. 21st, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
A while ago (the 17-18ish range) I bought a collar....

Blue nylon, as little metal as possible... It looked horrible on me. :\

Sorry, sexually frustrated pudgy geeks shouldn't wear collars...

Other than the shock value (which was very.... unwelcomed to my taste), the collars for pets just aren't made for human sizes. Something about it just doesn't look right. *shrug*

We can kinda blame anime like Wolf's Rain with the influx of collars, (well, at least I do) since the dork of the series wears one.

I think the only time I'll ever be wearing a collar again will be in fursuit, and even then it will be specially designed for the suit, not something bought at petco.

Hot Topic:"Goth-&-Go"::PetCo:"Furry-&-Go"?
Jan. 21st, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC)
*nod* I can appreciate the nice shiny black leather ones. Though a certain narrowness of waistline and low luminosity of birthday cake toppings help to make them work a little better.

So, what is the weird thing with specifically blue nylon? :)
Jan. 21st, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
It looked horrible, it was made for pets. :) That's all.
Jan. 21st, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
I think dork furs are perfect fodder for laughter and belittlement and feel no guilt of conscience for doing so. When I was growing up, if I dressed like a retard, all my peers called me dork and threw things at me. I would be the target of bullies and football players. Through this, I learned not to dress like a retard. I feel the simpering masses of high-school rejects should walk the same gauntlet, and perhaps they too will learn that being part of a special interest group does not relieve you of the need to practice decorum. A good ass kickin' builds character, and if these children are gonna hang out with the grown-ups then they need to learn some manners. period
Jan. 21st, 2005 04:23 pm (UTC)
Most of them *did*, but then they got out of HS. Pity.
Jan. 21st, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
Can I get a 'hell yeah' from the choir?

I go for more of a geek-chic myself ;)
Jan. 21st, 2005 10:43 pm (UTC)
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )