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Nov. 7th, 2008 @ 01:47 pm State of the Community

Hello all.

First of all, I am pleased to see more members coming to this group.

I must start off with an apology. I have woefully neglected this group. Between my family, my job, and the web projects, I'm afraid I'd spread myself a bit thin. I need help. We need help. I ask anyone who has some spare time to please speak up. I have been actively recruiting people through my own IM contact lists to help out with the various web projects that have started up, and from the looks of it GamerFurs.net may see a good start soon, but more importantly Furry 101 should be more interviews with people who should be regarded as role models for the fandom at large. While I cannot predict the future... well... that's we're we come in.

If you have any spare time on your hands to either lend a hand to the various projects launched from me and/or this community, or can assist with maintaining the spirit of the community here and/or in real life, please speak up. Best way to reach me quickly is via IM (Twitter preferably) or via email.

That is all for now.

About this Entry
Everything else is child's play.
ashmcairo:
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From:xydexx
Date:November 8th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC)

Second verse, same as the first.

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The fact that you continue to link these projects of yours to a defunct hate group shows you're more interested in the attention it gets you than actually improving the fandom, which makes it all the more painful to watch you dupe well-meaning folks into contributing time and effort toward them.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)

Re: Second verse, same as the first.

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What prompts you to call it a hate group?
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From:xydexx
Date:November 20th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)

Burned Fur = Gigantic Liability

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What prompts you to call it a hate group?
I call Burned Fur a hate group due to its founding documents and past history, which ashmcairo continues to (pardon the pun) hold a torch for. At this point, the only reasonable explanation is that he's more interested in getting attention than improving the fandom.

Hey, if that's what floats his boat, so be it. I don't see why other people should be suckered into it, though.
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From:ashmcairo
Date:March 4th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)

Re: Burned Fur = Gigantic Liability

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That's actually a pretty good pun. Thanks for that.
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From:thelistener
Date:November 9th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't put it as bluntly as our friend Xydexx here, but I do worry that some may be put off by artificially putting ties to a group that has a lot of emotional baggage to it, justified or not. Sadly, I'm not much of a coder, but I do love my 360, as well as participating in forums.
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From:ashleyvsdestiny
Date:February 5th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
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Your methods are ineffective. No offense but in looking at things like Furry 101 only, at best, preach to the choir.

You can't look at the fandom and say 'No, you are doing this wrong'. It doesn't work. First of all, they don't care. Second of all, when you're out numbered about 20 to 1 by insanity and debauchery, you still lose by the effect of sheer numbers.

The furry fandom, being built on acceptance (re: Blind tolerance of everything out of fear that others won't tolerate you) and escapism, attracts certian types, certian types who, by their age, are pretty much set in their ways. The only way change will happen is with something drastic to happen to them personally. This core of escapism is what makes the fandom primarily comprised of the kids who either got beat up too much in high school or not beaten up enough and they are pretty content to surround themselves with other furries who feel the same way. This is how those people wind up defining the core and direction of the furry fandom. When the majority wants to be as socially inept and openly perverted as they can, they will be and the minority can do squat.

The furry fandom does suck. The whole 'anthro' part is harmless, normal mundane people can think it's neat or interesting or just have no opinion what-so-ever. Talking bipedal animals offend no one. It's what the furries do in the fandom that make it offensive.

That said, the people who truely dislike the fandom, those who have an axe to grind with the fandom are not outsiders. They are mostly furries themselves who are disappointed with the fandom. Those on the outside either care little, know not of the fandom at all, or are SA/4chan types just looking to stir up some furry drama for shits and giggles.

The only way to change the furry fandom would be for a rapid change in the social dynamic of the fandom. Why did the outcast kids sit alone in the corner at lunch in high school? Cause the mainstream of the school looked down upon them. They couldn't fit so they either gave up and went off on their own or the adapted and eventually were able to fit in. This is probably the only way to change the fandom. They are in the fandom because they know the fandom won't make them feel shame, it's the non-furries, the 'mundanes', 'the humans' that they shy away from as a result.

What one would need to do to change the fandom would be to bring the people who beat them up in high school, into the furry fandom. The furry fandom would have to become something mainstream, more like the Star Wars, Star Trek or Harry Potter fandoms. In the Star Trek fandom, if you say 'I really do have a spirit of a vulcan inside of me', the majority would say 'Uhm, yeah... No.'. Where as the furry fandom would accept such a delusion as 'what makes you special'. If the furry fandom was mainstream, there would be a massive influx of 'casual fans' would make those who are so into the fandom that they can't fit in anymore either adapt and fit in with the mainstream or go back to sitting quietly in the corner, just like in high school. When everyone, the majority, is looking funny at the babyfur like he's psychotic, he's going to stop cubfagging it up in public un the fandom by one means or another.

Unfourtunatly, the only means to do this would be via mass media, series furry productions on television that are accepted by the mainstream. Ya know, like anime or comic book adaptations of movies. Something that just makes some of those average people look and go 'Whoa... Cool. Is there more of this.". This would require the investment of millions and millions and millions of dollars to work; resources that no one would be likely to invest.
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From:ashleyvsdestiny
Date:February 5th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
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The fandom can't be saved by you, me, or anyone else. It is what it is and will remain what it is unless it becomes mainstream by some means. Trying to change it with little websites, interviews and guidance drawings is sadly futile. You would do far better to spend your time surrounding yourselves with like minded furries, making a pocket within the fandom that you can actually try to enjoy. In the case of the furry fandom, those who are not disgusting furfags or willing to go along with the furfags are the minority, we are the losers in the furry fandom, we are the ones who don't fit in. So at the least, we should all sit together in that quiet corner of the high school during recess, and forge our own group of peers.
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From:ashmcairo
Date:February 14th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
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How would "bring the people who beat them up in high school, into the furry fandom" being setting a good example hmm? While your method maybe effective, they lack tact and dignity. You don't fight fire with fire. You just make a bigger flame. Now for those how want to bring up the analogy that firefighters are know for performing controlled burns... don't go there. It'll make my head hurt.

Now as for making the fandom more mainstream and therefore bringing a more professional environment to it all... I keep kicking an idea in the back of my head about the business model behind furry conventions and what would need to be done to bring in corporate sponsors and eliminate or at least reduce the costs of running one. My fantasy is to make it free to the public, but even if we could manage something that is half the current cost of admission to a con, and use any corporate dollars for advertising to the public...

Anyway, there's that thought. If you want to discuss it or anything else further, try to catch me online. Above all, please be mindful of those around you and set the best example you can.
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From:ashleyvsdestiny
Date:February 14th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
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The method I suggested wouldn't really 'set a good example' asside from make the freakier furries feel like the 'odd man out' and either adapt or go hide. It is however the only method that would actually work. (Unless something else can change the core population of the fandom). The fandom is as it is at a fundamental level, so to change this would require something massive. Something likely beyond anyone's means.

You can't get any results from 'setting a good example' because, well, they don't give a shit. The majority of the furry fandom like the furry fandom just as it is, that's why they're in the furry fandom. They are in the furry fandom so they can be complete fucktards, because they want to be complete fucktards and they arn't going to look at a furry that is actually rational and just in the fandom cause he likes the 'furry' thing and go 'Man, I wanna be just like him'.

I read the stuff you have posted. I'm sorry it is not 'setting a good example' with 'tact and dignity', it's just conscending to the fucktards you are directing it at. They arn't going to listen they are going to go somehwere else so they can fucktard it up.

On the topic of conventions, not going to happen. I've been high level staff on an anime convention and know a lot of others that run conventions. You will never make a con that's free (Unless you are personally wealthy enough to support it). A small convention of 100-200 people would probably run you in the area of about $10 000-$15 000 in terms of net operating cost. Conventions are basicly about pandering, they are about giving the fandom what it wants so it will come and pay to get in. If you start a furry convention that doesn't have what the majority of the fandom wants, a lot of people won't come. Non-furries wouldn't come cause non-furries wouldn't attend a furry convention reguardless of it's content. It just wouldn't be financially viable by far.

The furry fandom is tiny, maybe one tenth the size of the anime fandom. Those of us furries who can actually behave themselves in public and arn't complete furfags represent a minority within that small fandom. It's just not remotely close to enough people to sustain something like that.

I've been tossing around the idea with some others about starting a furry community that 'behaves itself'. Most of the communities that actually have 'sane furries' in them are snark communities, while it's fun, it's also sad that the best way for a non-idiot to enjoy the fandom is to gawk at it's horrors. So I'm tossing around this idea of a community where 'sane furries' can actually enjoy the entire furry thing without worrying about the antics of the rest of the fandom. Not to snark the fandom, not to look down upon it, not to talk trash on it, but to actually have fun and take comfort that you are in the company of people who are as rational and as level headed as you are. It's probably the only thing in the fandom that would ever work. To carve out a piece of it for yourself, surround yourself with like minded people and enjoy yourselves rather than conflict with the fandom.
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From:ashmcairo
Date:March 4th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
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Massive change isn't hard and all it takes is one person; you just need the drive for it. You start by setting a good example, then you keep bringing it up a notch. Be polite. Start a local event. Say hi and thank you to people. Talk to that weird person in the corner and help get them out their shell. Volunteer somewhere. Take care of those around you. After you get in the habit of it, grab some friends an encourage them follow suit. Even if they don't initially, all you need to do yourself is to do it all over again, but kick it up a notch next time. Do more and lead more.

As for the con thing, it's a silly thought. I'm trying to figure out what can be done to atleast advertise conventions to the local populace outside of the furry community. Even if they only stay for an hour or two, maybe they'll kick a kick out of it.

As for starting your own group you are more than welcome too and heck, if your method as effective and ethical, I'll adopt them myself and pay it forward.
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From:ashleyvsdestiny
Date:March 4th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
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Uhm... By your logic then, wouldn't someone setting the inverse example be able to do the same thing and thusly nullify your efforts? Or, in the furry fandom, having nearly 20 times the people as you setting the inverse example not only nullify your efforts but entirely overwhelm them without any serious effort?

I have a question, are you more interested in idealism or practical results?
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From:ashmcairo
Date:April 14th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
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I'm interested in both. It's not impractical to expect a fan to go set a good example and no, having 20 times the people setting a bad example doesn't nullify any good effort made. All in all if you and those you've helped can feel good about what's been done then nothing can really nullify that.
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From:amur_tiger
Date:June 5th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)

Some thoughts

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Somebody mentioned you guys recently in a journal post and after some research I got at least a vague idea of what you guys are going for and commented in said journal and since I thought it might offer some useful advise I'll repost it here.

I.A. will have a chance at success when they work out what the fandom should be instead of just what it shouldn't. Media, and thus the culture fed by it won't ignore obviously interesting stories of all the... embarrassing things in/associated with the fandom and start covering a small group that states to represent the fandom themselves. If the fandom ever wants to shed the image of being defined by it's associated fetishes then it has to decide what truly unifies the fandom, and push the fandom in that direction.

At it's most basic level it logically follows at least that furs should care about the wild animals they so often aspire to and though even here there's a distressing number of dissenters I suspect/hope that this would be one of the most effective unifying factors in the fandom. To make that matter though events have to be co-ordinated that focus on this to a degree that it speaks louder then the stories of various fetishists doing some unseemly thing or another.

One aspect is the obvious raising money for WWF and it's ilk, not just by individuals and their group of friends but hopefully by organizations that seek to draw money from accross the fandom and put it into one big pool. 10 different artists raising 100k for their pet causes through their own efforts is far less impactful then co-ordinating such and raising a million. This also means there needs to be an atmosphere that makes these things a real priority instead of 'sure donate, but make sure you have money for AC!'.

An example of this can be found in AC itself as the charity raffle raised 6.6k in 2007( 2008 numbers seemed to have some anomolies) for 2.8k attendees to the con, less then 2.50$ a person, next to 45$ per head(2009, not sure what it was for 2007) to be in the con, it's little wonder that the public sees the fandom as obsessed with fetishes and defines us by such, we vote constantly with our dollars to prove just that.

If AC doubled the price to enter but donated that extra money to a serious charity of choice (sorry Pittsburgh Parrot Rescue but you're not as important as any of the WCS or WWF projects) I'd be happier and the public would see furs putting 153k(based on 2008 attendence) into a charity as part of the media aftermath of the con instead of just stories of how depraved we are. Any effort to change the public perception of the fandom will require that we add something to the fandom that hasn't been there or hasn't been emphasized before, it's a worthy cause mind you but it will require real sacrifices and effort, not simply a campaign to shush up those who are seen to embarrass the fandom.

Amur_Tiger