The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'furries'
The internet, with its detachment between online and offline actions and its lack of a private register, has spawned the phenomenon of griefers, or highly organised subcultures of people (mostly young men) who delight in ruining other people's online fun:
Consider the case of the Avatar class Titan, flown by the Band of Brothers Guild in the massively multiplayer deep-space EVE Online. The vessel was far bigger and far deadlier than any other in the game. Kilometers in length and well over a million metric tons unloaded, it had never once been destroyed in combat. Only a handful of player alliances had ever acquired a Titan, and this one, in particular, had cost the players who bankrolled it in-game resources worth more than $10,000.
So, naturally, Commander Sesfan Qu'lah, chief executive of the GoonFleet Corporation and leader of the greater GoonSwarm Alliance — better known outside EVE as Isaiah Houston, senior and medieval-history major at Penn State University — led a Something Awful invasion force to attack and destroy it.
"The ability to inflict that huge amount of actual, real-life damage on someone is amazingly satisfying" says Houston. "The way that you win in EVE is you basically make life so miserable for someone else that they actually quit the game and don't come back."
To see the philosophy in action, skim the pages of Something Awful or Encyclopedia Dramatica, where it seems every pocket of the Web harbors objects of ridicule. Vampire goths with MySpace pages, white supremacist bloggers, self-diagnosed Asperger's sufferers coming out to share their struggles with the online world — all these and many others have been found guilty of taking themselves seriously and condemned to crude but hilarious derision.Griefers defend their behaviour by claiming that they're merely giving those who take the internet far too seriously a reality check. The implied subtext is that anything that happens online is just a game and doesn't count. Though, given how the internet has become a mainstream part of many people's lives (witness, for example, the rise in social networking websites), this assertion makes about as much sense as Tom Hodgkinson's call to kill your Facebook account, throw away your email address and instead socialise in the pub with people near you. There's not a great leap from asserting that anything that happens online doesn't really count and absurdly ludditic claims like "if you don't know what someone smells like, they're a stranger".
On the other hand, there is no such thing as the right to be respected, or even to not be ridiculed. If one posts a web page detailing one's peculiar political views, conspiracy theories and/or sexual fetishes online, one can expect to be laughed at and even snidely remarked about. Though there is a distinction between demolishing someone's homepage in a blog or discussion forum and actively gathering a posse and going out to hound them off the net.
Griefing happens in the real world, though it's usually called other things, such as bullying. The difference is that the internet has democratised bullying. In the real world, in more conformistic societies, bullies can typically only be those either of or contending for alpha social status, enforcing an exaggerated version of majority values by picking on those perceived to not conform to them (witness the use of the word "gay", sometimes semi-euphemised as "ghey", as a general-purpose term of derision), and in more liberal or pluralistic environments, even that is frowned upon. Online, anyone can find a group of like-minded misfits, make up a cool-sounding name, set up a virtual clubhouse and start picking on mutually agreed targets, with little fear of social consequences.
A town in Oregon has banned animal mascots from its baseball games after a 7-year-old was severely traumatised by witnessing the horror that is the Furries on the Internet:
"He's deathly afraid of Tig now ... We even had to throw out all his Disney tapes. Just seeing the animal characters on the box would make him start crying."
"The librarian called me and said that Jefferey wouldn't stop crying, and that there was some disgusting website on the computer he had been using. When I arrived at the library and saw the computer, I was ... sickenet. I can say without a doubt that it was the most disturbing, depraved thing I have ever had the misfortune to witness."Richmond, Oregon's local ISP has now blocked all websites relating to the Furry subculture, and the city council has unanimously passed a resolution changing the name of the local baseball team, retiring the popular tiger-suited mascot and requesting all visiting teams to leave any animal mascots behind.
Inappropriate LiveJournal user icon of the day. You can count on the furries taking two segments of a Disney animation, juxtaposing them and making something that's just wrong.
The Furry Music Foundation is "an informal organization of furries, for furries and with furries, working separately and together for the good of furry music." And they have three CDs of "furry music", with titles like "Furry Fantasies", "Silky Fur" and "The Wolf In You", for sale, and samples to download. (If you wondered what "furry music" sounds like, imagine a cross between goth/darkwave, cod-mediæval video-game/anime incidental music and Eurovision contenders, complete with floridly elaborate general-MIDI arrangements and the occasional lyrics about embracing one's inner otter or whatever.)
Zookeepers in Japan chase a bloke in a lion suit, capture him with a net, in what is ostensibly an animal escape drill; either that or the filming of some kind of Furry bondage-cosplay-themed TV game show. (via jwz)
Meanwhile, Target in Australia are now selling collectible Goth figurines, which, for some reason, are in the anime section. (Which is odd in itself; last time I was in a Target, they didn't have an anime section, let alone one with collectible figurines. Perhaps it's in the "grunge mall" Coles-Myer were planning to build in Melbourne or something?) Does this mean that the Goth subculture now has an anime series about it?
Psychoceramic site of the day: Molatar, the dragon, "dedicated to spreading the Gospel in the werewolf and furry communities". As well as the usual stuff about homosexuality being wrong and evolution having been debunked, it has an essay on why he abhors role-playing games (and it has little to do with Jack Chick-esque theology, but more to do with role-players being cruel and unimaginative), and a promise that God can help the faithful shapeshift, if that's what they desire (even giving a prayer for doing so, as well as advice to get a good vet and tailor, and stock up on dog toothpaste and medieval swords). And check out his "Were card", where he talks about his likes and dislikes, speculates on whether Duran Duran were werewolves and describes his "berserker states". (via gjw)
If Architecture In Helsinki were furries, they'd probably be something like this band.
Did the Monty Python team predict the rise of Furries?
Interviewer: And when did you first notice these... shall we say... tendencies?
Confessor: Well... I was about seventeen and some mates and me went to a party, and, er... we had quite a lot to drink... and then some of the fellows there ... started handing ... cheese around ... and well just out of curiosity 1 tried a bit ... and well that was that.
Interviewer: And what else did these fellows do?
Confessor: Well some of them started dressing up as mice a bit ... and then when they'd got the costumes on they started ... squeaking.
Interviewer: And what was your reaction to this?
Confessor: Well I was shocked. But, er... gradually I came to feel that I was more at ease ... with other mice.
(via elnigma on LJ)
Mozilla FireFox: the "We're here, we're furry, get used to it" browser? (via David Gerard's LJ)
A piece about "furries", a growing subculture of people who identify themselves as anthropomorphic cartoon animals, and which may or may not be a sexual fetish, depending on whom you ask:
On condition of anonymity, the author of a G-rated a comic book featuring an animal character described his experience at a Furry convention he was invited to attend, and how revolted he was by the horny Furs he encountered. They have convinced themselves that all writers and artists who have ever placed a talking animal in a story must in fact be closet Furries at best, and that surely those creators would not be disturbed by the sexuality of Furry fandom, he says. This includes even the classics like Bugs Bunny, the Pink Panther, and Mickey Mouse.
"It's rough if youre a transsexual its even rougher if you try to explain that you're a cat in a human body," says another Furry fan, who bemoaned the fact that Furries cant opt to surgically change their species in the way transexuals can change their gender.
These conversations are typical of what one will find at Furry conventions, scheduled alongside social events like dances and talent shows. Scattered here and there in private hotel rooms, one might also find places like The Nursery where adult babies can get diapered and Fursuit dry-humping orgies, or Plushie parties, where people who disdain or cant find human sexual partners stick their organs into an SPH (strategically placed hole) torn into a carnival prize raccoon. But most of the Furries who get laid at the convention will probably hook up through mutual interests, physical attraction, flirtatious conversation, and a few drinks, just like everybody else does.
Apparently there are now "furry nights" at nightclubs in the US. Could Furry be the next Goth or something like that? (If so, I wonder how long until "furry" musical projects start appearing, and what they'll sound like. Or, indeed, until we see veteran Furries bemoaning the influx of trendy normals in tiger suits from Hot Topic or Dangerfield or someplace.)